All season long the Wild have had to explain away their struggles on the power play. No matter how well they played on any given night, the Wild could almost always count on answering questions about their lack of success with the man advantage.
In other words, the past couple of games have to be refreshing for the Wild.
After coming through in a big moment in Thursday’s win over the Vegas Golden Knights, the power play once again rose to the occasion for the Wild in Saturday’s game.
In desperate need of a spark in the final 20 minutes of play, Kirill Kaprizov netted the game-tying goal on the power play, and the Wild parlayed that into a 2-1 win. Joel Eriksson Ek scored the game-winning goal shortly after Kaprizov leveled the score.
That win helped the Wild complete the sweep of the Golden Knights. That was an impressive response from the Wild after a couple of losses to the San Jose Sharks to start the road trip.
It was an especially impressive defensive effort from the Wild a couple of nights after coach Dean Evason lamented “unintelligent plays” that led to tons of odd-man rushes. They tightened up in their zone, sacrificed their body by blocking 26 shots in front of goaltender Cam Talbot, and continued to get some timely saves from the man himself in the crease.
That was a perfect recipe for success on this particular night.
That said, the Wild found themselves chasing the game after a goal from Tomas Nosek early in the first period. That made it 1-0 in favor of the Golden Knights.
That score held into the second period where Talbot and fellow goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury went blow for blow with save after save after save.
That set the stage for the third period where the Wild mounted their comeback. It started with a beautiful goal from Kaprizov on the doorstep to make it 1-1 and continued with rebound goal from Eriksson Ek to make it 2-1.
That proved to be the difference as Talbot made a number of saves down the stretch. He finished with 27 saves in the game as the Wild continued their winnings ways.