Kevin Fiala scored a brace, such as a match goal at 12:17 of the third period, as the Minnesota Wild upset the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday. Minnesota seized a 4-3 lead when Fiala circled the net, held off Brad Hunt, and shot short side on Thatcher Demko.
Fiala scores and points
Fiala has 9 scores and 16 pts in an eight-game point run.
“Fiala is definitely playing well,” Wild coach Dean Evason remarked. “Obviously, he has a lot of confidence, but what we like about him is that he’s been a great teammate. Through it all and he’s done a lot of things defensively, verbally on the bench, penalty kill, in all areas of the game. I guess it’s one thing to be on a hot streak scoring goals. But you still have to do a lot of things to allow your team to succeed, and he’s doing a lot of those as well.”
Minnesota (49-21-7) extended its point run to eight (6-0-2). And remained tied for second in the Central Division with the St. Louis Blues. Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello each had two goals. And two assists and Ryan Hartman had a goal and an assist. In the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Wild will face the Blues.
“I mean, to be honest, I have a lot of faith in us all”. “It’s better to have a peak now rather than in the first few games, so I’d rather have it now,” he says, “but there are still five more games. Very crucial five more games for us, and personally for everyone to just play well. Feel good, and have the positive feeling to go into the playoffs.”
Talbot made 21 saves in his second straight start to win his 200th NHL game. He has a 12-0-3 record in his previous 15 starts. Elias Pettersson scored twice for Vancouver (38-29-11), and Conor Garland added two assists. The Canucks have now dropped two games in a row and are down four points. The second Western Conference wild card is currently held by the Dallas Stars. Demko made 26 saves in total.
Fiala scored a 1-0 lead for the Wild at 4:53 of the second period. One-timing a return pass from Frederick Gaudreau in the right circle. With a one-timer off a cross from Garland from underneath the goal line. 38 seconds later, Pettersson leveled the game at 1-1.
Jared Spurgeon gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead at 7:10 by skating to the top of the right circle and blasting over a screen. But Matthew Highmore knotted it at 9:22 on a partial breakaway after Spurgeon mishandled the ball.
Pettersson scored his 31st goal of the season, surpassing the 30-goal mark for the first time in his four NHL seasons. At 18:36 of the second period, Zuccarello tied the game 3-3. Jon Merrill delivered a stretch pass to Kaprizov, who dropped the puck for Zuccarello at the top of the left circle. After missing 10 games with an upper-body ailment.
Kevin pushed Minnesota ahead, Kaprizov scored his 44th goal of the season at 18:05 to make it 5-3
At 18:47, Ryan Hartman scored on an empty net to seal the 6-3 victory. In his last 12 games, Pettersson has scored 13 goals. For the first time since 1995-96, Vancouver has three 30-goal scorers (Bo Horvat, 31; J.T. Miller, 30). Matt Boldy, a forward with the Wild, had an assist to extend his point streak to nine games (three goals, nine assists).