Fight spurs Minnesota Wild to scoring success and 4-1 victory over Detroit Red Wings
By TYLER MASON
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Rookie defenseman Nick Seeler picked up Minnesota’s offense with a timely fight.
Eric Staal and Zach Parise scored in the second period after Seeler fought Luke Witkowski, and Jason Zucker added two late goals in the Wild’s 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.
Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves to help Minnesota rebound from losses at Arizona and Colorado.
Staal and Parise scored in a 2:57 span to erase a 1-0 deficit. The goals came not long after Seeler traded punches with Witkowski on a delayed penalty, with Seeler protecting Parise after Witkowski attempted to check the star forward.
“I just thought, you know what, good time to step up,” Seeler said. “We were down 1-0. I thought it was the right time.”
Sunday was just Seeler’s 12th career NHL game. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman has just two assists thus far but has added grit to a Wild team that has needed some toughness as it jockeys for playoff positioning.
Seeler’s opponent, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Witkowski, is no stranger to NHL fights.
Seeler emerged bloodied after the brawl, which included rapid-fire punches from both players. Seeler’s teammates appreciated the effort — and responded by scoring two goals with Seeler in the penalty box.
Staal tied it on a power play with his team-leading 34th goal.
Less than three minutes later, Parise completed a tic-tac-toe passing sequence with Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle to put the Wild up 2-1.
Justin Abdelkader scored for Detroit off a rebound at 3:58 of the first period to open the scoring.