Third-period goals 55 seconds apart by Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek gave the visiting Minnesota Wild a 2-1 comeback victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
Goaltender Cam Talbot made 27 saves for the Wild, who not only beat the Golden Knights in consecutive clashes in Vegas, but also moved within two points of Vegas for the second spot in the West Division.
Minnesota has won four of the seven meetings this season, while Talbot — who held the fort in the waning minutes while the hosts pushed for the equalizers — has been outstanding in the last month, posting a 7-1-1 record in his last nine starts. Minnesota skaters also blocked 26 shots in the win.
Tomas Nosek replied for Vegas, while goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots in the loss. The Golden Knights have dropped three straight games, all on home ice. Vegas went more than a calendar year without losing consecutive home games before Minnesota arrived for the first clash in this two-game set.
With the Golden Knights, who went into the clash boasting a 15-0-0 record this season when leading after two periods, holding a 1-0 edge, Kaprizov cued the comeback with a power-play goal. Kaprizov set up shop at the side of the net and made no mistake with the golden chance set up by Eriksson Ek’s cross-ice pass 6:13 into the third period. Kaprizov leads all NHL rookies with 14 goals and 31 points.
Then, Eriksson Ek scored the game-winning goal on the next shift. Shortly after a face-off win in Vegas territory, Jordan Greenway set up Eriksson Ek in the slot. His first attempt was denied but he buried the rebound to cap a two-point outing.
The Golden Knights also blew a third-period lead in Thursday’s clash, which was tied 1-1 after two periods but became a 2-1 Vegas lead early in the period before the Wild claimed a 3-2 shootout win.
Nosek opened the scoring with a unique goal in the opening frame. Alex Tuch, from the side boards at the blueline, simply dumped the puck into the far corner. The puck caromed to the slot and a few players didn’t take possession. Nosek grabbed it and quickly whipped a shot home at the 5:33 mark.
–Field Level Media