Wild goalie’s 33 saves lift team to road victory

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Johan Gustafsson made 33 saves for the Iowa Wild on Saturday night as they beat the Charlotte Checkers 3-1 in the their first road game of the season.

Rookie forward Taylor Matson’s goal 5:20 into the third period proved to be the game-winner, giving Iowa a 2-0 lead. Charlotte’s Chris Terry scored at the 13:51 mark to cut the lead to 2-1, but the Wild regained a two-goal lead just more than three minutes later when second-year forward Zack Phillips found the net.

Rookie Tyler Graovac redirected defenseman Jonathon Blum’s shot from the blue line past Charlotte goalie Mike Murphy for the first power-play goal in Iowa franchise history 16:02 into the first period. Forward Erik Haula picked up the other assist on Graovac’s first career goal.

Gustafsson’s scoreless streak ended at 113:51 in his second pro start, when Terry buried a one-timer from the right circle.

Murphy took the loss with 24 saves in front of announced crowd of 9,021 fans at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Wild play the Checkers (2-1-0-0) again at 12:30 p.m. today. Iowa returns home Thursday to host the Chicago Wolves at 7:05 p.m.