Knights blow lead in Minnesota; lose 6-5 to Wild

Golden Knights

Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) shoots on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (90) in the first period during an NHL hockey game, Monday, May 3, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Jonas Brodin scored with 1:06 left, 26 seconds after Kirill Kaprizov had tied the game, and the Minnesota Wild rallied past the Vegas Golden Knights 6-5 on Monday night.

Nick Bonino added two goals and an assist, while Joel Eriksson Ek and Kevin Fiala also scored for Minnesota, which trailed by two goals twice in the game. Cam Talbot stopped 27 shots for the Wild, who have beat West-leading Vegas five times in seven matchups this season.

”We’re a tight group,” Talbot said. ”We can feel it. It doesn’t matter if we’re down one goal, two goals going into the third, we’re still a confident group. We’re going to go out there, keep playing our game. It’s never out of the question for us. We’ve shown that lately.”

Mark Stone had a goal and assist. Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez, Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault also scored for the Golden Knights. Robin Lehner made 26 saves.

Vegas was 24-1-0 when leading after two periods coming into Monday.

”That’s about as tough as they get, that kind of loss,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. ”It doesn’t happen very often. We’ve been pretty good in those situations in my time here. … Thankfully it’s not two weeks from now in a playoff series because that would, obviously, be a lot harder to take.”

The two teams finish a two-game set Wednesday in Minnesota.

Monday was a particularly chippy game between teams that could possibly meet in the playoffs. Vegas started the day first in the West with 74 points, four ahead of the Colorado Avalanche. Minnesota was third in the division with 68 points, two behind Colorado.

”In a race like this, it’s obviously huge to deny them points,” Bonino said. ”As a group, we’re pretty sure at some point we’re going to have to go through Vegas or Colorado. Obviously, we’d love to continue to move up the standings, but wherever we end up, we just want to focus on these five games, playing the right way, flipping the playoff switch now, getting our mind right and just playing the right way all the way through.”

The Wild tied the Boston Bruins for the most wins this season after overcoming a multi-goal deficit in the third period with four.

Fiala started the comeback and the three-goal period with his 20th goal of the season. Kaprizov, who is earning a reputation for clutch plays in his rookie season, scored his 24th and Brodin flipped a puck from the blue line that found its way past Lehner’s right shoulder.

”I felt good,” Lehner said. ”I felt like I had a lot of good saves, but I needed to come up with more and obviously had a couple of bad ones. So, I got to figure it out.”

Eriksson Ek’s goal just 3:36 was an early sign of a dizzying game between teams that have already clinched playoff berths. There were four goals scored at the 7:48 mark and five total in the first period.

Stone scored for the ninth time in 11 games in the second. Marchessault’s goal was his fifth in five games.

Bonino added his second goal between Stone and Marchessault’s tallies for his first multi-goal game of the year.

PACIORETTY SCRATCHED

Max Pacioretty, Vegas’ leading goal scorer with 24, was scratched with an undisclosed injury. Pacioretty didn’t play in the third period or overtime of the Golden Knights’ win at Arizona on Saturday. Pacioretty has missed three games all season.

Nicolas Roy (undisclosed) was back in the lineup for Vegas after missing three games.

GETTING KNIGHTED

To help fill in for Pacioretty, Peyton Krebs made his NHL debut. Krebs was the 17th overall pick in the 2019 draft by the Golden Knights. The 20-year-old earned his first NHL point with an assist on Tuch’s goal in the first.

Krebs started this season with Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League before making his pro debut with the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League. He had one goal and four assists in five games with Henderson.

This post will be updated throughout the game

PRE GAME: Max Pacioretty will be out with an unknown injury. Peyton Krebs will be playing in his first NHL game tonight. He was the Knights first round pick in the 2019 draft. Robin Lehner will start in net for the Knights.

FIRST PERIOD: Wild goal  Joel Eriksson Ek (18) (Wrist shot), Assist: Jared Spurgeon (16). WILD 1, KNIGHTS 0.

Knights goal Shea Theodore (8) (Wrist shot) assist Mark Stone (38) and Brayden McNabb (5). KNIGHTS 1, WILD 1.

Knights power-play goal Alec Martinez (8) (Wrist shot), assists to Reilly Smith (9) and William Karlsson (21). KNIGHTS 2, WILD 1.

Wild goal Nick Bonino (8) (Backhand shot), Assists: Matt Dumba (14) and Jonas Brodin (14). KNIGHTS 2, WILD 2.

Knights goal Alex Tuch (18) (Wrist shot) assists Peyton Krebs (1) and Nicolas Roy (8). KNIGHTS 3, WILD 2 after one period. Shots on goal: Wild 12, Knights 10.

SECOND PERIOD: Knights goa Mark Stone (21) (Wrist shot), Assist: Chandler Stephenson (20). KNIGHTS 4, WILD 2.

Wild power-play goal Nick Bonino (9), Assists: Jared Spurgeon (17) and Kirill Kaprizov (21). KNIGHTS 4, WILD 3.

Knights goal Jonathan Marchessault (16) (Wrist shot), Assists: Alec Martinez (21) and William Karlsson (22). KNIGHTS 5, WILD 3 after two periods. Shots on goal: Wild 23, Knights 21.

THIRD PERIOD: Wild goal Kevin Fiala (20) (Backhand shot), Assists: Nick Bonino (14) and Victor Rask (13). KNIGHTS 5, WILD 4.

Wild goal Kirill Kaprizov (24) (Wrist shot), Assist: Kevin Fiala (19). KNIGHTS 5, WILD 5.

Wild goal  Jonas Brodin (9) (Slap shot), Assists: Marcus Foligno (13) and Jordan Greenway (25). WILD 6, KNIGHTS 5. final. Shots on goal: Knights 32, Wild 32.

Vegas Golden Knights (36-12-2, first in the West Division) vs. Minnesota Wild (32-14-4, third in the West Division)

St. Paul, Minnesota; Monday, 5 p.m. PDT

 LINE: Wild +100, Golden Knights -121

BOTTOM LINE: Mark Stone and Vegas square off against Minnesota. He ranks 10th in the in the NHL with 57 points, scoring 20 goals and recording 37 assists.

The Wild are 32-14-4 against division opponents. Minnesota has scored 161 goals and is eighth in the league averaging 3.2 per game. Kirill Kaprizov leads the team with 23.

The Golden Knights are 36-12-2 against the rest of their division. Vegas is fourth in the league recording 9.1 points per game, averaging 3.3 goals and 5.7 assists.

In their last meeting on April 3, Minnesota won 2-1.

TOP PERFORMERS: Kaprizov leads the Wild with 23 goals, adding 20 assists and totaling 43 points. Kevin Fiala has 12 points over the last 10 games for Minnesota.

Stone leads the Golden Knights with 37 total assists and has 57 points. Max Pacioretty has five goals and 10 assists over the last 10 games for Vegas.

LAST 10 GAMES: Wild: 8-1-1, averaging 4.3 goals, 6.6 assists, two penalties and 4.6 penalty minutes while giving up 2.6 goals per game with a .913 save percentage.

Golden Knights: 9-1-0, averaging 3.9 goals, 6.2 assists, three penalties and six penalty minutes while allowing 1.7 goals per game with a .939 save percentage.

INJURIES: Wild: Marcus Johansson: day to day (upper body), Andrew Hammond: day to day (upper body), Nick Bjugstad: day to day (upper body).

Golden Knights: Tomas Nosek: out (undisclosed), Jonathan Marchessault: day to day (undisclosed).

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