— Sports

Talbot makes 27 saves, leading Wild past Golden Knights 2-1

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Joel Eriksson Ek scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, Cam Talbot made 27 saves, and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 Saturday night. The Wild became the first team to sweep a two-game series in Las Vegas after they opened a four-game road trip with two losses in San Jose. “Every guy knew we had a little bit more to give after those San Jose games,” said Talbot, who was also in the net for Minnesota’s shootout win over Vegas on Thursday. “Tonight, I thought, was one of our more complete games of the season. We stuck with it in the third period. That’s a big character win and two big wins in this building.”

Talbot came in as one of the hottest goaltenders in the league since MaMarch 12sporting a 6-1-1, with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage. Kirill Kaprizov provided the equalizer in the third period, tying the game when Eriksson Ek delivered a beautiful pass through traffic to the backdoor, where the rookie was perfectly positioned for his 14th goal of the season. Then, 55 seconds later, Eriksson Ek gave Minnesota the lead when he banged home his rebound through Marc-Andre Fleury’s pads.

“We had scoring chances the whole game, just (stayed) with it,” Eriksson Ek said. “We know we can score. Being around the net is going to make us score. Kirill was slapping his stick on the ice, and I just tried to get it through (on his goal). On (my) goal, it was just a broken play, and I just tried to stay with it and was lucky it went in.”

Golden Knights

During his career, Fleury has had problems with Minnesota and dropped to 6-13-0 against the Wild; he has lost four of his last five after struggling with his rebound control all game. Despite looking refreshed to start and stopping several of Minnesota’s second-chance opportunities, it finally caught up with him in the third period.

“We weren’t sure we were going to get one by Fleury; he was so good, just looked dialed in,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “We weren’t 100% that we would get that break.” Fleury stopped 25 shots. Tomas Nosek scored the lone goal for Vegas (0-2-1), mired in its first three-game skid of the season.

Nosek’s goal was lucky after the puck took a hard bounce off the boards, and teammate Nic Roy played the decoy in skating by rather than gathering it. Minnesota’s Ryan Suter and Marcus Johansson followed as the puck went straight to Nosek, who backhanded it past everybody for his fifth goal. Nosek has registered at least one point in eight of his last ten games, scoring three goals and assisting six others.

The Golden Knights, who were 15-0-0 when leading after the second period, had won 23 straight in that situation dating to last season. It is the first time Vegas has lost three honestly since Peter DeBoer took over as coach on January 1520. “You can see where the games are going,” DeBoer said. “We have to be comfortable in those types of games. The playoffs are on the horizon here, and everyone’s dialing in on playoff-type details.”


One of Las Vegas’s all-time favorite entertainers, Wayne Newton, was in attendance, wearing a gold jersey for his birthday. Newton dubbed Mr. Las Vegas decades ago, turned 79.


The Golden Knights, who rank 25th in the NHL with their power play (17.9%), were 0-for-7 with a man advantage during their two-game set vs. Minnesota and are now 0-for-10 in the last three games.


Fleury, who has 483 career wins, remains one shy of Ed Belfour on the all-time wins list. Fleury, who has a league second-best four shutouts and 65 in his career, also remains one scared of his hero Patrick Roy on the all-time list.


Minnesota: Returns home to start a two-game series vs. Colorado on Monday.

Vegas: Opens a two-game set in St. Louis on Monday.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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