ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Alex Goligoski scored 1:12 into overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Sam Steel had a goal and an assist, and Filip Gustavsson stopped 20 shots as the Wild snapped a three-game losing streak.
Goligoski, who was honored before the game for playing in his 1,000th NHL game earlier this season, got a pass from Steel in the extra period and tallied his first goal of the season. It was his third career overtime goal and first since 2017.
“It was a big night,” Goligoski said. “I had so much family and friends in the building. I was emotional with my family even before, so just to end up like that, it was just a crazy, emotional night.”
Sebastian Aho scored for the second straight game for the Hurricanes, who lost for the first time in six games when leading after two periods. Aho’s ninth goal of the season came 6:13 into the first period.
“We just were (bad) after that, even the second half of the first,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the quick start. “The fact that we got a point out of that game is a miracle, in my opinion. We were God-awful. When you have two or three guys playing and the rest were going through the motions, that’s what you get.”
Rookie Pyotr Kochetkov made 19 saves for Carolina, missing a chance to become the eighth goalie in NHL history to win the first six decisions of his career.
Both goalies are getting opportunities with their team’s starter injured. Carolina’s Frederik Andersen missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury, and Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury is out with an upper-body injury.
Kochetkov, a 2019 second-round draft pick, played 49 games in the KHL in his native Russia and was named the top goalie in the 2019 World Junior Championships while winning a bronze medal for Russia. The 23-year-old was coming off a 27-save shutout against Chicago in his last start.
Steel finally solved Kochetkov with 2:37 left in the third as he got a pass from Jared Spurgeon from behind the red line and snapped off a quick shot wide of Kochetkov while being checked. It was Steel’s third of the season and first in 14 games. He was elevated to the top line with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello before the game.
“You wait for opportunities like this,” Steel said. “At the same time, I didn’t want to change my game or try and be somebody that I’m not. They put me there to play my game. A little bit of pressure to perform. At the same time, it’s a great opportunity and playing with those guys is a treat.”
Aho scored his ninth of the season 6:13 into the first period on a 2-on-1 rush to give the Hurricanes an early lead. Martin Necas sent a cross-ice pass to Aho, who shot a one-timer past Gustavsson, who couldn’t get across the crease quickly enough.
“I think it’s partly us kind of stepping off the gas a bit and kind of hoping we can scooch one out,” Carolina forward Jordan Staal said. “It’s the NHL. You sit back at all, it usually ends up in the back of your net. It wasn’t pretty, the second and third.”
Goligoski, in his second season with the Wild, had been scratched in 12 of the previous 13 games. The 37-year-old defenseman hadn’t scored since Nov. 26, 2021, a span of 60 games without a goal.
The Minnesota native was honored in a pregame ceremony. He was presented with a ceremonial silver stick for playing 1,000 games by Wild general manager Bill Guerin, a former teammate of Goligoski in Pittsburgh.
IN AND OUT
Forward Nic Petan was recalled by Minnesota from Iowa of the AHL and made his Wild debut. Petan was needed with Jordan Greenway continuing to deal with an upper-body injury and Tyson Jost placed on waivers.
Minnesota also scratched rookie Marco Rossi for the second time this season. He had played in 14 straight games but only had one point.