Wild Score Two Empty-Net Goals To Tie Game, Beat Penguins 5-4 In Shootout Win

Nov 6, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) scores a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) in the shootout at PPG Paints Arena. The Wild won 5-4 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild (7-3-0) scored two goals in the final 3:19 to force overtime and eventually beat the Pittsburgh Penguins (4-3-3) in a shootout on Saturday night. The Wild got goals from Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson-Ek, Jared Spurgeon, and Ryan Hartman. Kaprizov has now scored in two straight games and leads the Wild with 10 points. Cam Talbot saved 35 of 39 shots, including two overtime breakaways, to pick up his seventh win of the season.

The Wild, who lost two road games last week, knew they needed a fast start on Saturday night. They killed an early Pittsburgh power play and scored the game’s opening goal at the 9:44 mark of the first period. Kirill Kaprizov scored on the rebound after Ryan Hartman deflected a shot off of Penguins’ goaltender Tristan Jarry. Kaprizov has scored two goals and tallied two assists over the Wild’s last two games.

Unfortunately that momentum wouldn’t last as Kasperi Kapanen scored two goals in the span of 2:31 to give the Penguins the 2-1 lead. Former Wild forward Jason Zucker assisted on both Kapanen goals.

Penguins extended their lead in the second period as Jake Guentzel found his to the slot and fired a shot over Talbot’s glove to make it 3-1. Minnesota responded just 3:23 later as a Jared Spurgeon shot from the point was deflected into the net by Joel Eriksson-Ek. It was Eriksson-Ek’s fourth goal of the season.

The Penguins once again made it a two-goal game at the 8:45 mark of the third. Kapenen completed the hat trick after he hit the post and the puck deflected off of a Minnesota player. Needing a goal, the Wild had chances to score but couldn’t find the back of the net until they pulled their goalie with 3:33 left in the game. After winning the offensive-zone draw the Wild got the puck deep and cycled it back up to Spurgeon. The captain took the puck, skated to the top of the slot, and fired a shot of the post to make it 4-3.

Still down a goal, the Wild again pulled Talbot with around two minutes left in the period and continued to put pressure on Jarry and the Penguins. With 16.2 seconds remaining after a Penguins icing the Wild won the draw and put a shot on net. Adam Beckman dug the deflected puck out from behind the net and passed it out front to Matt Dumba, who shot the puck on goal. The puck deflected out to Ryan Hartman who sent the game to overtime with his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Beckman tallied his first career NHL point with an assist on the goal.

The Wild, who went into Saturday night’s game with 3-0 record in overtime games this season, had plenty of chances to score the winner. However, it was Cam Talbot who turned out to be the overtime hero. Talbot stopped two breakaway chances just 30 seconds apart, including one on Jason Zucker, to get the Wild to their first shootout of the season.

Pittsburgh took the lead in the first round of the shootout after forward Jake Guentzel got a wrist shot past Talbot and Tristan Jarry made a great save on Freddy Gaudreau. In round two the Wild responded after a Kris Letang miss and a Kevin Fiala wrister under the glove of Jarry. In the third round both Bryan Rust and Kirill Kaprizov scored (it was Kaprizov’s first career shootout attempt and goal). In round four Kasperi Kapanen, who scored a hat trick for the Penguins in the game, tried to shoot five-hole but was denied by Talbot, setting up the game-winner from Nick Bjugstad.

The Wild will travel back to the Xcel Energy Center and will face the New York Islanders (5-2-2) at 7:00 p.m. CST on Sunday night. It will be Zach Parise’s first game against Minnesota since being bought out this last offseason. Minnesota is 3-1-0 at home this season.