The Minnesota Wild kept multiple streaks alive against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. With a 3-0 win over the desert dogs, they have now won five consecutive games, are in the middle of a nine-game home win streak, and young netminder Kaapo Kahkonen has been in between the pipes for nine straight wins.
The 24-year-old netminder was the major reason why the Coyotes were held without a goal in this one. With this shutout, Kahkonen now boasts a .927 save percentage and a 2.05 goals against average.
For the offensive side of the game, the three goals were spread evenly throughout the lineup. To put the nail in the Coyotes’ coffin, the eventual game-winning tally was scored on a weird recovery from Ryan Hartman that snuck its way into the back of the net.
GOAL! 1-0 RYAN HARTMAN.— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
After setting up Parise with a clear chance that he shot wide, he grabs the loose puck and sneaks it into the net. So, so sneaky. pic.twitter.com/IOGxLaj72t
Even the broadcast replay can’t show where Hartman was when he shot the puck, but after Jordan Greenway rifled it wide of the net, the goalscorer was able to recover it and slide it past a clueless Arizona defense.
After the goal, Carson Soucy was sent off for a charging major five-minute penalty because of this high hit on Conor Garland:
Soucy to the box after boarding miniscule Conor Garland in the face. pic.twitter.com/Wg1s2FwAfd— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
Whether the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will take a deeper look into this is unsure at the moment, but Soucy certainly caught the short-statured Garland up high and even left the ice leading into the collision. Not the prettiest of sights.
And Coyotes winger Lawson Crouse took exception to the fact that Soucy wasn’t given a game misconduct.
Lawson Crouse jumps Soucy as soon as he leaves the penalty box. The Coyotes forward has been kicked out of the game. pic.twitter.com/DE6Pts0fpS— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
After the Wild killed all five minutes extremely well, Crouse wanted to get his own game misconduct and leapt on Soucy and did not stop feeding him punches even with the Wild defenseman prone on the ice with his hands on his face. Not the best look.
After that, the Wild were able to shake off the violence and continue to beat this terrible team. Just a couple minutes into the final frame of the game, Mats Zuccarello was able to score his fifth goal of the season.
GOAL! 2-0 ZUCCARELLO.— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
A quick little Soucy backpass sets up Zuccarello to double the lead. Oh baby. pic.twitter.com/kv3ahsG8Os
And even later, to pile on the misery for Arizona, Jared Spurgeon notched his first goal of the season that has been coming for a while now.
GOAL!! 3-0 SPURGEON.— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
The captain notches his first goal of the season with an absolute RIFLE past Hill to put this one to bed. pic.twitter.com/2pH2w5ycut
Even with the great goals and the overall team win, the highlights of the night were Kirill Kaprizov doing some absolutely mad things on the ice.
Kirill Kaprizov doing Kirill Kaprizov things pic.twitter.com/aVBj7OjRT6— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
Kaprizov with yet another insane pass, this time no-look in between the legs. pic.twitter.com/l7oUnL06Ck— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) March 17, 2021
Just casual plays that seem impossible; creating scoring chances out of nothing using his stick like a magic wand to serve his teammates. I cannot believe he’s on the Wild and he’s doing things like that.
With this win, the stay solid in second place in the West Division, now just two points back of the Vegas Golden Knights, but nine points up from the fifth-place Los Angeles Kings. They are securely in a playoff spot and don’t appear to be going anywhere.
Are we in for another dominant performance?
While the shot attempt battle at 5-on-5 was kept fairly even throughout the entire game, the difference was left to be made in between the pipes.
Adin Hill and Kaapo Kahkonen battled for contention but it was just simply the young Wild netminder coming up in big moments and getting the right amount of defense from the skaters in front of him, to secure the shutout win.
Forwards were making plays, the penalty kill was phenomenal and the Wild truly deserved to come out on top.
Can Ryan Suter or Jared Spurgeon get a goal?
Spurgeon finally notched one! The new captain has been left without a goal so far this season, but with a rocket of a shot from the point, he was able to break through the tough scoreless barrier.
Can the powerplay continue like this?
All three Wild goals were scored at even-strength and the Wild’s powerplay opportunities were more of the same that we’ve grown used to throughout this season. Just inoffensive piles of passes with no real clear cut scoring chances.
Next up is the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. Puck drop is at 8:00 p.m.