Minnesota Wild gets points from all four lines in win over Canadiens

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The Minnesota Wild showed their scoring power against the Montreal Canadiens at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday night, January 25. The Canadiens have struggled all season, and the Wild have taken advantage of it. They had a night full of milestones for various players, and a number of them had multiple points in the game. The Canadians took an early 1-0 lead, but the Wild fought back quickly to tie and didn’t look back as they won 8-2.

The Wild had a vital part of their roster in net to face the Canadians, but it didn’t last. Cam Talbot was in goal for the first two periods before aggravating his injury and missing the third period. It’s unclear when he returns, and tasks fall to Kaapo Kähkönen for the rest of the evening.

#mnwild Cam Talbot modified the same injury but in a different location, Evason said. Could have played but why risk it was a thought process. Still, an obvious concern with so many games on the horizon

The Wild weren’t the only ones playing musical goalies. Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau, who started the game, was ejected after the second period after five goals had been scored. Michael McNiven replaced Primeau in his first-ever NHL game, but fared no better as the Wild scored three straight goals to reach their final tally of eight. The Wild had full-line production, their special teams were successful, and they had one specific thing to work on moving forward.

Wild’s Versatile Production

The Wild had goals from all four lines, each from a different player, and nine players had multi-point nights. One of those players was Connor Dewar, who scored his first NHL goal and added an assist on his first multi-point night. After Dewar’s milestones, Kirill Kaprizov recorded two assists that secured his 100th career point, and he did so in 92 games. This marked the fastest a player has reached 100 points in Wild franchise history.

Those are the two main steps, but that was just the beginning. Matt Boldy continued his success after being shut out in both games against the Chicago Blackhawks. He scored a power-play goal and recorded an assist for the second multi-point night of his career in seven games played. Teammate Kevin Fiala also had a multi-point night, scoring a goal and adding an assist for his ninth consecutive points game. While Fiala picked up several points and the game’s final goal, Wild defender Jordie Benn scored his first goal of the season just before Fiala’s final goal of the night.

Jordie Benn Minnesota Wild
Jordie Benn, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Marcus Foligno also continued his prowess by scoring a goal for the third game in a row. It was his third consecutive game with points and his 17th goal of the season. On the defending side, Benn wasn’t the only one to score; just his second game back from injury, Jared Spurgeon scored his fourth goal of the season and proved he was back to his game before being sidelined.

Wild Special Teams Success

Off and on all season, the Wild’s power play has been minimal scoring until recently. The Wild scored two power-play goals in the last game against the Blackhawks. They scored another against the Canadians, and that goal was another milestone. Boldy scored his third goal of the season and his first on the power play. It was also the Wild’s only goal of five chances.

Related: Wild Record: Forwards Step Up in Back-to-Back Wins Over Blackhawks

Despite the Wild’s 29 penalty minutes, they only had to kill two actual penalties that weren’t considered a coincidence. After allowing a shorthanded goal against the Blackhawks over the weekend, they stepped up on the penalty kill to prevent it from happening again, and they went 100%. However, while their special teams performed well, they struggled in a defensive zone.

Wild Gift Issues

The Wild have been on a roller coaster all season when it comes to giving up the puck. They started the season pretty well with a low number of gifts and then it increased for part of the season, but it seemed like recently they had it under control again. They were in single digits for a series of games until these last two which were a real struggle despite the winning score.

Minnesota Wild Celebration
Minnesota Wild Celebrate (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Fiala, Mats Zuccarello and Jordan Greenway had two gifts each, while Dmitry Kulikov, Brandon Duhaime, Kaprizov and Boldy had one against the Canadiens. Luckily for the Wild, their freebies didn’t cost them the game, but it could have. They will have to tighten up as they go, 10 gifts is too much for a team with the skills of the Wild.

Wild’s next games

They will have three more days off before facing the New York Rangers for the first time on Friday, January 28. The Rangers have been a solid team all season, so it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Wild, and their schedule won’t get any easier. After their game against the Rangers, they will also face the New York Islanders for the first time this season.

They will see the Blackhawks again as the last game before the All-Star break. It will be the longest break they will get for the rest of the season. Not only will the schedule become more difficult, but they may also have to decide what to do for the goalkeepers. They have a capable starter in Kähkönen if Talbot is to sit out, but they will have to decide on a replacement for him depending on what happens. Hopefully for the Wild this is just a small thing, and Talbot can return next week before starting his crazy streak to the end of the season.


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