Wild Whip Rangers – Donato Tallies Two

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ryan Donato scored two goals and Devan Dubnyk had 26 saves as the Minnesota Wild beat the New York Rangers 5-2 on Saturday night to stay in the thick of the playoff race.

Eric Staal, Jared Spurgeon and J.T. Brown also scored for the Wild, who snapped a three-game losing streak that dropped them out of the final wild card in the Western Conference. Minnesota entered the day three points behind Phoenix for the last spot. It was the Wild’s second win in 11 home games.

Minnesota Wild Eric Staal Ryan Suter
Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal celebrates his goal with defenseman Ryan Suter (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

Mika Zibanejad scored his first goal in nine games and Pavel Buchnevich added a third-period goal for the Rangers, who lost their third straight. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 41 saves and managed to keep the Rangers within striking distance.

Donato’s wrister on a breakaway at 4:40 of the first period beat Lundqvist’s stick side to put Minnesota up 1-0. Zibanejad tied it 90 seconds later, catching Dubnyk out of position on a shot from behind the goal line that angled off the goaltender and into the net.

Donato was credited with a redirect on Luke Kunin’s shot with just under 4 minutes left in the first to reclaim the lead.

Staal made it 3-1 at 4:51 of the second after his attempted pass to Zach Parise hit off the outstretched Neal Pionk’s stick and into the net.

Spurgeon’s power-play goal at 6:04 of the third gave him 13 for the season, the fourth-most single-season goals by a Wild defenceman. Brown added an empty-netter at 17:25.

NOTES: Donato has 11 points in 12 games with the Wild. He also notched his fourth point in two games against the Rangers with Minnesota this season. … Zibanejad established a new career high with his 28th goal this season. He’s also the first Rangers centre to score at least 28 goals since Eric Lindros in 2001-02. … Wild LW Jason Zucker left the bench for a portion of the second when Brady Skjei fell on his right leg early in the period after a collision behind the New York net. Zucker didn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the ice, but returned later in the period.


Rangers: Host Detroit on Tuesday night.

Wild: Host the New York Islanders on Sunday.

Andres Ybarra, The Associated Press