With the Wild hopes of making the playoffs for the seventh straight year in jeopardy, they would pick up a much needed two points against Vegas. However, with the Colorado shoot-out victory over Arizona, their playoff chances are slim, but still have a chance of making it. The Wild need a lot of help getting there, but a win in Vegas Friday night kept those playoff aspirations alive. Here’s the recap of the 3-2 victory.
Minnesota would get the night going on a strong note early on thanks to Greg Pateryn notching his first goal in 130 games as a professional, and his first in a Wild jersey to give Minnesota an early 1-0 just 2:12 into the first period. A goal Pateryn scored from the goal line that Maclom Subban would like to have back, but for the Wild, it was a much needed goal to start the night off strong. Ryan Donato, who picked up an assist on the goal, notched his 16th point in 18 games with the Wild, leads all rookies in scoring since February 21st. Late in the first, the Wild thought they had a 2-0 lead after Marcus Foligno scored, but the whistle blew before pounding it in. Still 1-0 Wild. However, with less than a minute left in the period, and the Wild on the power-play, the newest dad of a baby girl would have a shot of his deflected in front by Eric Staal would make it 2-0 Wild after one period of play.
In the second, Devan Dubnyk would keep Vegas off the board after robbing Mark Stone on a rap around try sprawling to make a glove save to keep the two goal lead. However, just pass the midway point of the period, Kevin Fiala would net his third goal as a member of the Wild off a loose puck in front to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead and total control of the gave hoping a miracle doesn’t happen. With exactly two minutes left in the middle frame, Vegas would get on the board as Paul Stastny would net his 12th of the year making a 3-1 lead for Minnesota heading to the final frame in a must win to keep the playoff hopes alive for the Wild.
As the third period would begin, Colorado would top Arizona in a shoot-out making the Wild win tonight against Vegas mean that much more if they hope to keep the playoff streak alive. The Wild two goal lead would only last about nine minutes of the third period as Stastny would net his second of the game to pull Vegas within a goal with plenty of time left. Staal and company would have two chances to get the puck out, but would not be able to clear the puck, and cost the Wild on the scoreboard forcing Minnesota to hold onto the one goal lead with still eleven minutes left. Subban would depart for the bench with 2:03 remaining in the game, and with a lineup the Golden Knights have, the Wild would have their hands full the final couple minutes of the contest. Dubnyk and others would survive the final two minutes, but mainly last fifteen seconds Vegas would throw at them for a 3-2 victory for a big two points. Dubnyk would be his normal self making 34 saves for the victory. With the victory, Minnesota now moves to 5-0-1 when facing Vegas, but most importantly would keep within reach of Colorado now just four points back with four games remaining as they head to Arizona for a HUGE match-up with the Coyotes Sunday evening.