Cam Talbot is probably sitting in an ice bath somewhere.
It’d be a well deserved bath, one that follows a loss that wasn’t quite as deserved for the Minnesota goalie as his team left him in the dust for much of the contest.
The Wild coasted through an ugly first period, and Talbot kept his team in it with 14 saves.
The Wild appeared to draw back into the game in the second period on the power play, but the Panthers responded quickly with Frank Vatrano’s bar down snipe just three minutes later.
A late goal from Ryan Hartman made the final score 5-4, but the scoreboard was kind to the Wild in a poor effort.
WHAT IS HAPPENING. Hartman deflects Joel's point shot to make it 5-4 with 8.6 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/aiv7saFMjQ— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) November 21, 2021
Will Kaprizov continue the hot streak?
Kappy was buzzing on Saturday. The Russian winger scored a beauty to bring the Wild within a goal in the second period, which was gorgeous enough to stand on its own:
KIRILL!! Cuts the lead to one early in the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/qUrphq4koE— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) November 21, 2021
It followed a beautiful rush on the Wild’s opening power play goal.
Kaprizov raced with some speed toward the net, before pushing the puck to Mats Zuccarello, who put the puck right on the tape for Erikkson Ek while Panthers goalie Bobrovsky had no stick.
Can Duhaime excel in his homecoming?
The fourth line was the Wild’s best line for much of this one, and Duhaime was a big part of that on the forecheck.
Duhaime had a couple nice moments, especially on the forecheck. He set up a good look for linemate Nico Sturm in the second period on a bounce to Sturm after a hard Duhaime one timer bounced off the pad, but Bobrovsky made the big diving stop.
But Duhaime then had a puck bounce over his stick near the offensive blue line, which ended up with the puck in the Wild net seconds later for their third goal. This one was more a bad step from Kulikov than solely on the kid, but a tough bounce for him.
Will Kevin Fiala have a redemption game?
Well, it probably depends who you ask, and the ending was maybe even worse than the drama that preceded this game.
Fiala had a good look early in the second period in on a partial break, but he was stopped up from behind.
Moments after the Eriksson Ek goal, Fiala made a nice stick check on a Panther attacker to prevent a dangerous look when Talbot had lost sight of the puck.
Fiala was later the victim of a Bobrovsky highlight as he was stopped on a breakaway, then in tight and lastly on a wraparound.
Fiala just cannot buy one. Three chances in just a matter of seconds. pic.twitter.com/xYmocvlBwk— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) November 21, 2021
Fiala was tough on the puck to get control, but he couldn’t cash. He was taken off the power play in the game for Victor Rask, and he and the coach had differing opinions on the move.
Evason: "We talk to each individual. We talk to everybody, every guy. The guys know where they stand with us." https://t.co/4u6zIY2oSW— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) November 21, 2021
It followed Fiala almost tying the game at the end of regulation.
Fiala comes so close to getting the game-tying buzzer beater, but Bob shuts the door. Good fight late without their captain for most of the game.— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) November 21, 2021
Panthers win 5-4 over Wild. pic.twitter.com/VEllVnNUr4
Minnesota will look for a better effort Sunday at 4 p.m. at Tampa Bay.