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Wild edge Flames in OT, move closer to sealing 2nd in Central

Sportsnaut
Apr 28, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski (47) and Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (28) compete for the puck in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Kirill Kaprizov scored in overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday in Saint Paul, Minn., and a firmer hold on second place in the Central Division.

Frederick Gaudreau had a goal and an assist and Jonas Brodin also scored for the Wild (52-22-7, 111 points). Cam Talbot made 31 saves for the win.

The Wild have a two-point edge on the St. Louis Blues (49-21-11, 109 points) with home-ice advantage up for grabs in their pending Stanley Cup playoff series. Minnesota will play host to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, while the Blues face the visiting Vegas Golden Knights. St. Louis owns the tiebreaker.

Johnny Gaudreau, with his 40th goal of the season, and Elias Lindholm scored for the Pacific Division-champion Flames (50-20-11, 111 points). Gaudreau also had an assist, Nikita Zadorov contributed two assists and Jacob Markstrom stopped 22 shots.

The Flames will face either the Nashville Predators or the Dallas Stars to open the playoffs.

While the Wild were enjoying a power play, Kaprizov collected his 46th goal of the season by converting a one-timer set up by Kevin Fiala 44 seconds into the extra period.

The Wild, who have an 8-1-1 mark in their past 10 games, came out on top of a back-and-forth game.

Gaudreau opened the scoring at 2:59 of the second period when he received a no-look pass from Matthew Tkachuk to the front of the net and lifted a backhander into the cage.

Gaudreau, Tkachuk and Lindholm all have reached the 40-goal mark, only the third time in franchise history the Flames have a trio of 40-goal scorers, and first since the 1993-94 season. It’s only the second time in 25 years that any NHL team achieved the feat.

Brodin replied with a power-play goal three minutes later. With a screen in front, the defenseman unloaded a perfect point shot for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Gaudreau put the hosts ahead with 8:01 remaining in regulation when he intercepted Erik Gudbranson’s clearing attempt and promptly wired a short-side shot from the left circle for his 14th goal of the season.

However, Lindholm evened the score with 2:56 remaining, finding the net from the top of the left circle for his 42nd of the season.

–Field Level Media