Malone scores shootout winner as Wild defeat Jets 3 2 in pre season

By , on September 19, 2017


Ryan Malone as a New York Ranger, October 2014. (Photo By Lisa Gansky from New York, NY, USA - IMG_4304, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Ryan Malone as a New York Ranger, October 2014. (Photo By Lisa Gansky from New York, NY, USA – IMG_4304, CC BY-SA 2.0)

WINNIPEG — Ryan Malone found a good way to get noticed in his come-back attempt with the Minnesota Wild.  

The 37-year-old forward, who has almost 650 NHL games on his resume, scored the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Wild to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in pre-season play Monday.  

“I’ve had some success in the past, so just come down and shoot it and hope it goes in,” said Malone, who last played pro hockey in 2014-15 with the New York Rangers and then its American Hockey League club in Hartford.  

“I’ve been lucky enough to stay in shape. I think I’m in good shape. I’ll work on a few timing plays and positioning, especially trying to hit a few guys. I know I fell down after a little bit.”  

Malone’s low shot beat Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck. Charlie Coyle and Zack Mitchell scored in regulation for Minnesota.  

Mathieu Perreault and Patrik Laine had power-play goals for the Jets, while Hellebuyck made 34 saves in regulation and two in overtime.  

Niklas Svedberg stopped 22-of-24 shots for Minnesota through two periods. Steve Michalek went in for the third and had 13 saves in the period and six in overtime.  

“I felt very calm in there and felt a lot faster, in control, ” Hellebuyck said. “I don’t think I got caught swimming and I was able to keep my eye on most of the pucks.”  

There were 17 total minor penalties called and one fight. A slashing call in overtime put the Jets on a four-on-three.  

Winnipeg iced a veteran lineup, including their seven top scorers from last season. Their No. 1 line featured centre Mark Scheifele, captain Blake Wheeler and Laine on the left wing.  

“Not a lot of legs in our group and not a lot of speed to our game,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. “You just got to get your hands moving, testing some pucks.  

“We got those guys with almost 10 minutes of power-play time. Some of it looked nice, some of it looked like it was the first exhibition game.”  

Minnesota was without captain Mikko Koivu, who signed a two-year, US$11-million extension earlier in the day, but did not play because of minor foot pain.  

Winnipeg scored 45 seconds into the first period when Svedberg tried to slide his skate against the post for Perreault’s close shot, but the puck was quicker and banged off the post and into the net.  

The Wild tied it up five minutes later when forward Tyler Ennis, acquired in a trade with Buffalo, passed the puck to Coyle at the side of the net. The six-year veteran easily flipped the puck into the open side. Marcus Foligno, also part of the deal with the Sabres, picked up the second assist.  

Mitchell finished off a three-on-two with the go-ahead goal at 15:04 of the second for the 2-1 lead, but Laine’s one-timer with the man advantage whistled past Svedberg at 17:25 to tie it up.