Fiala’s shootout goal gives Minnesota wild win in Vegas
Kevin Fiala scored in the shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Thursday night.
Kirill Kaprizov and Jared Spurgeon scored for Minnesota, while goaltender Cam Talbot played his best road game of the season, stopping 35 shots. Talbot, who is a perfect 7-0-0 at home, improved to 3-5-2 away from St. Paul.
William Karlsson and Brayden McNabb scored for the Golden Knights. Robin Lehner had 35 saves but dropped to 3-0-1 with just six goals allowed since his return from a concussion.
Playing with just 10 forwards on the second of back-to-back nights, missing injured Ryan Reaves and suspended Chandler Stephenson, Vegas appeared to have a little more jump off the opening puck drop than it did one night earlier in a loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
It marked the first time Vegas lost consecutive home games since early last season, when it lost three in regulation from Jan. 7-11, 2020, under then-coach Gerard Gallant, and a fourth in overtime, on Feb. 8, after Peter DeBoer took over.
Karlsson opened the scoring when he grabbed a loose puck and fired it over Talbot’s right shoulder, marking the first time in four games the Golden Knights scored the game’s first goal.
It didn’t take long for the top-scoring rookie in the NHL to tie the game, as Kaprizov was able to get position in front of the net in time to redirect Jordan Greenway’s shot past Lehner. It was the Russian forward’s 13th goal of the season.
The second period turned into a highlight reel for both goaltenders. Kaprizov stoppedrookie Keegan Kolesar, who took a pass from Reilly Smith on a 2-on-1 break and had a beautiful look at the top shelf but had his wrist shot robbed. Just seconds later, after a faceoff to Talbot’s right, Kaprizov blocked Kolesar’s backhand from the doorstep.
Then, shortly after Lehner turned away Joel Eriksson Ek’s wrist shot from the slot, it was Talbot once again, this time stopping speedy Alex Tuch on a breakaway.
McNabb snapped a 66-game scoring drought when he took a pass from William Carrier and lasered a wrist shot from near the top of the right circle through traffic and past Talbot. It was McNabb’s first goal since Nov. 21, 2019, against the San Jose, when DeBoer was still in charge of the Sharks.
With tempers flaring and the game getting physical, Minnesota took advantage of a 4-on-3 situation when Spurgeon blasted a one-timer from the left circle to make it a 2-2 game. With Kaprizov’s assist on the goal, he became the eighth rookie in the past 10 seasons to need just 35 or fewer games to collect his first 30 career regular-season points.
The teams conclude their two-game set in Las Vegas on Saturday.