The Minnesota Wild (9-4-0) fell to the Vegas Golden Knights (8-6-0) by a score of 3-2 on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena. The Wild went 0-for-6 on the power play and were outshot 35-24 in the loss (Minnesota’s power-play percentage is now at 18.7% on the season). Cam Talbot had 32 saves but picked up his third loss of the season.
The Golden Knights had a majority of the early chances early and finally capitalized on a Paul Cotter goal just 6:08 into the game. The Wild had opportunities to tie the game, including a power play, but Vegas doubled their lead with 3:19 remaining in the first period. Jonas Rondberg skated in with the puck, drove to the net, and fired a shot over Talbot’s stick to make it 2-0. It was the first career NHL goal scored for both Cotter and Rondberg. It was Minnesota’s worst period of the season by far, as they were outshot 16-5 and didn’t generate nearly enough offensive pressure.
In the second period both teams had multiple chances on the power play but neither team scored on a goal. Minnesota took two penalties in the first five minutes while Vegas took three in the span of 3:08 towards the end of the period. Minnesota had a 5-on-3 power play for 99 seconds after two Golden Knights’ delay-of-game penalties but could not score. With the clock ticking down in the period the Wild were hoping to head into the final frame just down by two. However, Vegas capitalized on a Matt Dumba neutral-zone turnover and Johnathan Marchessault scored with just seven seconds left in the period to give the Golden Knights a 3-0 lead.
The Wild’s push-back came right away, as Jared Spurgeon sniped a shot top-corner after an excellent feed from Kirill Kaprizov just 1:20 into the third period. It was Spurgeon’s third goal of the season and his third point in the last two games.
The Wild had a chance to continue the momentum with a power play just 73 seconds after the goal but they were unable to score. The team’s traded chance after chance until Minnesota cut the lead to one goal with 6:25 remaining. After a dump-in former Golden Knight Jon Merrill won the battle down low and got the puck to Ryan Hartman in the slot. Despite not getting all that he could on the puck Hartman still got the one-timer past Vegas goaltender Laurent Brossoit.
Minnesota pulled goaltender Cam Talbot with 2:50 left in the game after a Vegas icing. After a couple of chances with the extra attacker Kirill Kaprizov drew a penalty to give the Wild a 6-on-4 power play with 1:03 left. However, the Wild could not get set up in the zone and were not able to find the equalizer.
Minnesota will conclude their road trip with a game against the Seattle Kraken (#-#-#) at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. CST. It will be the second time in the last eight games that the Wild have played the Kraken. Minnesota lost to Seattle 4-1 on October 28.
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