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Wild continue trip as Canadiens try to finish homestand strong

Oct 15, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) during a game at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild continue a five-game road trip Tuesday night as they head north of the border to visit the Montreal Canadiens.

The Wild kicked off their trip on Saturday with an overtime loss to the Boston Bruins. They rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the score late in the third period before falling in the extra frame.

Head coach Dean Evason liked the fact his club battled before ultimately taking the loss.

“We competed, we battled back,” Evason said. “Very resilient again, and we just didn’t get the result, obviously.”

Mats Zuccarello led the Wild offensive attack, tallying a pair of helpers to his extend his season-opening point streak to five games. Jared Spurgeon had an assist, and his goal with less than five minutes to go in regulation sent the contest to extra time.

Marc-Andre Fleury lamented the overtime defeat on a day he played in his 943rd regular-season game, tying Curtis Joseph for sixth all-time among NHL goaltenders.

“I was just trying to make the next save, keep us in the game, and it felt like a long time with 4-on-3 in our zone there in OT,” Fleury said. “It (stinks), 10 seconds left, and I was going down hard in front, blocking shots, Yes, it’s tough, so tough to lose that way.”

The Wild have dropped four of their first five games of the season with their lone victory coming Thursday in overtime again the winless Vancouver Canucks.

The Canadiens were riding high into Saturday’s matchup with the Dallas Stars but were brought back down to earth in a 5-2 home loss to visiting Dallas.

Just two nights after a thorough 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes, Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis did not like the club’s defensive work against Dallas.

“At that point in the game, we just scored a big goal,” St. Louis said. “We’ve got to do the job defensively, and we didn’t do it.”

Canadiens rookie blueliner Arber Xhekaj scored the first goal of his NHL career in the loss, but the club couldn’t contain Stars veteran Joe Pavelski who netted a hat trick for the visitors.

The Canadiens won the first two games on their four-game homestand before the loss to Dallas.

Juraj Slafkovsky — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft — missed Saturday’s contest with an upper-body injury and will also miss Tuesday’s game. Slafkovsky scored his first career NHL goal in Thursday’s victory over the Coyotes.

–Field Level Media

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