Marcus Foligno scored the game-winning goal with 7.2 seconds remaining to lead the Minnesota Wild (1-0-0) to a season-opening 2-1 win on Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks (1-1-0). It was the latest go-ahead goal in Wild franchise history and just the third time in NHL history that a team won a season opener with a goal in the final 10 seconds of a game.
Foligno – who was named an alternate captain in the offseason – played excellent, as he had 12 shot attempts and won a fight late in the first period. Friday night’s game was a microcosm of why Minnesota chose him to wear the ‘A’ this season. Foligno played solid all game, defended himself and his teammates, and put himself in the dirty areas of the ice.
Another key in last night’s win was Wild goaltender Cam Talbot. He saved 28 of 29 shots on goal (.966 SV%) and was named the third star of the game. Forward Jakob Silfverberg scored Anaheim’s only goal of the night on a power-play 17 seconds into the second period. However, Talbot looked very calm in net all night – a good sign for a goalie playing with a handful of new defensemen learning Minnesota’s system.
The Wild’s first goal of the season came with 2:25 left in the second period as Kevin Fiala buried a power-play goal to tie the game at 1-1. Fiala signed a one year, $5.1 million contract this offseason and now leads Minnesota in goals (47) and power-play goals (17) since making his Wild debut on February 26, 2019.
Although he did not score a goal, Kirill Kaprizov definitely played up to his five-year, $45 million contract. Kaprizov skated circles around the Ducks and was accurate on his passes throughout the game. He registered an assist on Fiala’s goal and had three shots on net.
Minnesota will stay on the west coast and face the Los Angeles Kings (1-0-0) on Saturday night. Puck drop is at 9:30 CST and will be broadcast on Bally Sports North.