30th-seeded ’85-’86 Whalers Defeat 35th-seeded ’08-’09 Wild in Five Games; Hartford Franchise Advances to Second Round for First Time

(Photo via sportsposterwarehouse.com)

Ron Francis (Photo via sportsposterwarehouse.com)

After arguably being the better team in their First Round matchup in the inaugural tournament, the ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers were the better team, again, but this time they finished what they started. The ’08-’09 Minnesota Wild couldn’t match the Whalers’ offense and needed a change of goalies in the five game series.

Ron Francis was the best player in this series and he led the Whalers in goals with five while Sylvain Turgeon and Dean Evason were tied for second with three. There was a three-way tie for the team lead in assists with with four, which included both Francis and Evason. Francis’ nine points led the Whalers in overall scoring while Evason was second with seven. Defenseman Dave Babych posted a team-high +6 rating while there were four players tied for second at +5, including fellow defensemen Joel Quenneville. Goaltender Mike Liut didn’t have a good start to this series, allowing five goals in Game 1, but he allowed just seven goals over the next four games. He finished with the series with a 2.40 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.

As I just said at the end of the last paragraph, the Wild struggled to score after putting up five goals in the opening game. Only eight players scored a goal for Minnesota and only one of them scored more than one goal. Andrew Brunette was that player and he scored five goals, which were the only points he registered in the series. Longtime captain Mikko Koivu led them in assists with four in the series while four players were tied for second in assists with two, including Owen Nolan and Marian Gaborik. Brunette and Koivu both finished with five points to co-lead the Wild while both Nolan and Pierre-Marc Bouchard finished tied for second with three points. Minnesota did not have a player finish with a positive plus/minus rating and had only three players finish at even, including Nolan and Derek Boogaard. I said earlier that the Wild needed a goalie change and it happened after Game 3. Niklas Backstrom started the first three games and posted a 5.00 goals against average and a .803 save percentage. Backup Josh Harding was called in to action twice in the first two games before starting Game’s 4 and 5. In that time, he posted a 1.50 goals against average and a .941 save percentage.

Here are this series’ links:

Three Stars of the Series:

  1. HAR – C – Ron Francis – 5 G   4 A   9 P   +5   24 S   2 GWG   8 Star Points
  2. HAR – D – Joel Quenneville – 1 G   4 A   5 P   +5   8 S   15 PIM   4 Star Points
  3. MIN – LW – Andrew Brunette – 5 G   0 A   5 P   -1   16 S   4 Star Points

GAME 1:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
#35 ‘08-’09 Wild 3 2 0 5
#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers 0 2 2 4

GAME SUMMARY:  ‘08-’09 MIN – 5   ‘85-’86 HAR – 4   (1-0   ‘08-’09 MIN)

1st Period:

  • 1 – 0 MIN – 3:42 – MIN: A. Brunette (1) assisted by M. Koivu (1)
  • 2 – 0 MIN – 4:01 – MIN: E. Belanger (1) assisted by A. Miettinen (1), P. Bouchard (1)
  • 3 – 0 MIN – 8:42 – PP – MIN: A. Brunette (2) assisted by D. Boogaard (1), O. Nolan (1)

 

2nd Period:

  • 3 – 1 MIN – 0:23 – HAR: K. Dineen (1) assisted by D. Babych (1)
  • 3 – 2 MIN – 17:00 – HAR: S. Turgeon (1) assisted by J. Anderson (1), R. Francis (1)
  • 4 – 2 MIN – 17:05 – MIN: M. Skoula (1) assisted by O. Nolan (2)
  • 5 – 2 MIN – 18:26 – MIN: P. Bouchard (1) assisted by M. Gaborik (1), M. Koivu (2)
    • HAR replaces starting goalie M. Liut with backup S. Weeks

 

3rd Period:

  • 5 – 3 MIN – 4:33 – HAR: P. Lawless (1) assisted by D. Evason (1), R. Neufeld (1)
  • 5 – 4 MIN – 19:35 – HAR: P. Lawless (2) assisted by J. Quenneville (1), D. Evason (2)

 

TEAM STATS:

#35 ‘08-’09 Wild #30 ‘85-’86 Whalers
5 Goals 4
38 Shots 35
1/2 PP
SH 1/2
50% PP%
PK% 50%
P. Bouchard (1) GWG

STARS OF THE GAME:

  • 1st Star: Andrew Brunette (MIN)
  • 2nd Star: Paul Lawless (HAR)
  • 3rd Star: Pierre-Marc Bouchard (MIN)

 

GAME 2:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
#35 ‘08-’09 Wild 1 0 0 1
#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers 2 3 0 5

GAME SUMMARY:  ‘85-’86 HAR – 5   ‘08-’09 MIN – 1   (1-1)

1st Period:

  • 1 – 0 HAR – 7:43 – HAR: S. Turgeon (2) assisted by R. Francis (2)
  • 2 – 0 HAR – 18:54 – HAR: D. Evason (1) assisted by R. Neufeld (2), J. Quenneville (2)
  • 2 – 1 HAR – 19:21 – MIN: C. Clutterbuck (1) assisted by S. Veilleux (1)

 

2nd Period:

  • 3 – 1 HAR – 0:46 – HAR: J. Anderson (1) assisted by R. Francis (3)
  • 4 – 1 HAR – 10:05 – HAR: J. Quenneville (1) assisted by R. Francis (4), D. Babych (2)
  • 5 – 1 HAR – 11:11 – HAR: K. Dineen (2) assisted by D. Murzyn (1), S. Gavin (1)
    • MIN replaces starting goalie N. Backstrom with backup J. Harding

 

3rd Period:

  • 1:31 – K. Dineen (HAR) ejected for kneeing

 

TEAM STATS:

#35 ‘08-’09 Wild #30 ‘85-’86 Whalers
1 Goals 5
32 Shots 43
0/3 PP 0/1
1/1 SH 3/3
0% PP% 0%
100% PK% 100%
GWG D. Evason (1)

STARS OF THE GAME:

  • 1st Star: Ron Francis (HAR)
  • 2nd Star: Joel Quenneville (HAR)
  • 3rd Star: Josh Harding (MIN)

 

GAME 3:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers 1 3 1 5
#35 ‘08-’09 Wild 2 0 1 3

GAME SUMMARY:  ‘85-’86 HAR – 5   ‘08-’09 MIN – 3   (2-1   ‘85-’86 HAR)

1st Period:

  • 1 – 0 MIN – 1:10 – MIN: A. Brunette (3) assisted by M. Koivu (3), K. Johnsson (1)
  • 1 – 1 tie – 8:30 – HAR: R. Francis (1) assisted by S. Turgeon (1), K. Dineen (1)
  • 2 – 1 MIN – 19:31 – PP – MIN: M. Koivu (1) unassisted

 

2nd Period:

  • 2 – 2 tie – 7:21 – SH – HAR: R. Neufeld (1) assisted by D. Evason (3)
  • 3 – 2 HAR – 15:12 – HAR: R. Francis (2) assisted by K. Dineen (2)
  • 4 – 2 HAR – 15:47 – HAR: R. Francis (3) assisted by J. Anderson (2), U. Samuelsson (1)

 

3rd Period:

  • 5 – 2 HAR – 2:16 – HAR: D. Evason (2) assisted by P. Lawless (1)
    • MIN replaces starting goalie N. Backstrom with backup J. Harding
  • 5 – 3 HAR – 8:48 – MIN: A. Brunette (4) assisted by M. Koivu (4), K. Johnsson (2)

 

TEAM STATS:

#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers #35 ‘08-’09 Wild
5 Goals 3
33 Shots 45
0/2 PP 1/2
1/2 SH 2/2
0% PP% 50%
50% PK% 100%
R. Francis (1) GWG

STARS OF THE GAME:

  • 1st Star: Ron Francis (HAR)
  • 2nd Star: Mikko Koivu (MIN)
  • 3rd Star: Andrew Brunette (MIN)

 

GAME 4:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers 0 2 1 3
#35 ‘08-’09 Wild 0 1 0 1

GAME SUMMARY:  ‘85-’86 HAR – 3   ‘08-’09 MIN – 1   (3-1   ‘85-’86 HAR)

1st Period:

 

2nd Period:

  • 1 – 0 HAR – 11:42 – HAR: R. Ferraro (1) assisted by S. Gavin (2)
  • 1 – 1 tie – 11:48 – MIN: O. Nolan (1) unassisted
  • 2 – 1 HAR – 12:00 – HAR: R. Neufeld (2) assisted by D. Evason (4), D. Murzyn (2)

 

3rd Period:

  • 3 – 1 HAR – 6:27 – HAR: R. Francis (4) assisted by J. Anderson (3), S. Turgeon (2)
  • 16:46 – J. Quenneville (HAR) ejected for head-butting

 

TEAM STATS:

#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers #35 ‘08-’09 Wild
3 Goals 1
31 Shots 48
0/1 PP 0/1
1/1 SH 1/1
0% PP% 0%
100% PK% 100%
R. Neufeld (1) GWG

STARS OF THE GAME:

  • 1st Star: Mike Liut (HAR)
  • 2nd Star: Ron Francis (HAR)
  • 3rd Star: Ray Neufeld (HAR)

 

GAME 5:

1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Overtime Total
#35 ‘08-’09 Wild 0 1 1 2
#30 ‘85-’86 Whalers 0 1 2 3

GAME SUMMARY:  ‘85-’86 HAR – 3   ‘08-’09 MIN – 2   (4-1   ‘85-’86 HAR)

1st Period:

 

2nd Period:

  • 1 – 0 MIN – 13:56 – MIN: B. Burns (1) assisted by P. Bouchard (2), M. Gaborik (2)
  • 1 – 1 tie – 16:20 – HAR: D. Evason (3) unassisted

 

3rd Period:

  • 2 – 1 MIN – 1:57 – MIN: A. Brunette (5) unassisted
  • 2 – 2 tie – 4:01 – HAR: S. Turgeon (3) assisted by K. Dineen (3), J. Quenneville (3)
  • 3 – 2 HAR – 7:44 – HAR: R. Francis (5) assisted by S. Turgeon (3), J. Quenneville (4)

 

TEAM STATS:

#35 ‘08-’09 Wild #30 ‘85-’86 Whalers
2 Goals 3
33 Shots 35
0/3 PP 0/2
2/2 SH 3/3
0% PP% 0%
100% PK% 100%
GWG R. Francis (2)

STARS OF THE GAME:

  • 1st Star: Sylvain Turgeon (HAR)
  • 2nd Star: Joel Quenneville (HAR)
  • 3rd Star: Mike Liut (HAR)

The ’85-’86 Hartford Whalers advance to the Second Round after they lost in overtime in Game 7 of last year’s First Round to the 36th-seeded ’12-’13 Columbus Blue Jackets. The ’08-’09 Minnesota Wild lose in the First Round for the first time after in the inaugural tournament they defeated the 30th-seeded ’11-’12 Phoenix Coyotes before losing in the Second Round. The ’85-’86 Whalers now advance to play the 3rd-seeded ’07-’08 Detroit Red Wings in the Second Round!

Up next in the First Round are the reigning runners up, the 17th-seeded ’88-’89 Calgary Flames, and the 48th-seeded ’30-’31 Philadelphia Quakers!

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