We will have at least one Game 7 in the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Thanks to their 3-0 win in Game 6 on Wednesday night, the Wild were able to force a winner-take-all game against the Golden Knights on Friday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN).
Cam Talbot stopped all 23 shots he faced for his second shutout of the series, while Ryan Hartman, Kevin Fiala, and Nick Bjugstad provided the offense.
The big moment in this game, though, came midway through the third period when the Golden Knights thought they had tied the game.
Just a few minutes after Hartman had given the Wild a 1-0 lead, the Golden Knights appeared to get the equalizer when a Chandler Stephenson one-timer from above the circle beat Talbot. After a brief discussion, the on-ice officials determined that the goal would be disallowed because in their view Alex Tuch had interfered with Talbot, preventing him from playing his position.
[NBC 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
Vegas coach Pete DeBoer decided it was worth challenging, but the call on the ice was quickly upheld.
Here is the play.
GOAL or NO GOAL?!
You decide. 🚨#VegasBorn | #mnwild pic.twitter.com/x0F82BGNJr
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) May 27, 2021
That result put Vegas in the penalty box for a delay of game on the failed challenge and give Minnesota a power play. It wasted no time in capitalizing on that power play when Fiala scored his first goal of the playoffs to give the Wild an important insurance goal. That goal was pretty much the dagger for this game and sends the series back to Vegas for the decisive game as the Wild try to erase a 3-1 series deficit.
“If that one stood, I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” said Talbot afterward. “I probably would just be getting fined.”
Bjugstad added a third goal for Minnesota with under five minutes to play.
The 2020-21 season has been a year of transformation for the Wild as they have become one of the league’s more up-tempo and entertaining teams, due in large part to the arrival of superstar rookie Kirill Kaprizov. But this Game 6 win was a vintage Minnesota Wild performance that was all about clinical defensive play. It was a fantastic team-wide effort to completely shut down the Vegas offense, limiting them to just 23 shots for the night. On the rare occasion something did get through, Talbot was sensational in goal to keep the Golden Knights off the scoreboard.
Finding consistent offense in this series has been a struggle for the Golden Knights as they have just 14 goals in the six games, and have now been shutout two different times.
Their leading goal scorer from the regular season, Max Pacioretty, has yet to play in this series. It is not yet known if he will be available for Game 7 on Friday.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS. WILD (Series tied 3-3) – series livestream link
Game 1: Wild 1, Golden Knights 0 (OT)
Game 2: Golden Knights 3, Wild 1
Game 3: Golden Knights 5, Wild 2
Game 4: Golden Knights 4, Wild 0
Game 5: Wild 4, Golden Knights 2
Game 6: Wild 3, Golden Knights 0
Friday, May 28: Wild at Golden Knights, 9 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.