If you’re going to win a hockey game, may as well do it as Wild as possible.
The Golden Knights, fresh off an overtime win on Saturday night, looked like they were set to win the 12th of their last 13 games. Instead, third-place Minnesota rallied for two goals in 26 seconds as the clock ticked down to take a 6-5 *ahem* Wild win, and defeat Vegas for the fifth time this season. The Golden Knights are now 1-6-0 all time in Minnesota.
Minnesota, it would seem, is built for these dramatic situations, something they will likely see often in the postseason.
That’s bad news in particular for the Golden Knights, who, as noted, have had major struggles with the Wild historically. Aside from the strong record on home ice, the Wild are 11-2-2 all-time against Vegas.
That could end up the first round matchup in the West, too, if Colorado takes the top seed, which is a possibility. Minnesota has been unreal at home aside from just Vegas, too, with a 17-2-1 record in their past 20 games at the Xcel Energy Center.
It was the third consecutive contest the Wild rallied from down multiple goals in the third period. The last two comebacks have resulted in victory.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot made some key saves on a late Golden Knights power play after Minnesota had made it a one-goal contest. Kevin Fiala brought the Wild back, making it 5-4 in the third. Then rookie sensation Kirill Kaprizov tied it on the extra man advantage. Jonas Brodin’s shot snuck through to make it a 6-5 game, and earn the win.
Fiala took the shot to tie it for Minnesota, too, with Kaprizov earning the rebound to notch his 24th goal of the season.
Vegas has been the hottest team in the league for some time, but the Wild have stayed just a step away throughout, even as the Avalanche have continued to surge.
The Golden Knights are in first with 74 points in 51 games after Monday night. Colorado still trails with one game in hand after their contest with San Jose, and Minnesota sits four points out of first in its own right with the same amount of games remaining as Vegas.
If the playoffs began today, that’s a playoff series between the Wild and Avalanche, and a sigh of relief from the Golden Knights. If the two were to meet again in the postseason, more theatrics would be on the horizon.