LAS VEGAS — Alex Tuch had two goals, including the tiebreaking score in the second period, as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Tuesday night and tied the first-round playoff series at a game apiece.
Jonathan Marchessault also scored for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves in front of a sold-out crowd of 8,683.
Matt Dumba scored for the Wild. Cam Talbot, one of eight goalies in NHL history to post a playoff shutout with three or more franchises after the Wild’s 1-0 victory in Game 1, made 25 saves.
Game 3 is set for Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the Wild are 6-0-2 all-time against the Golden Knights.
The game opened with a bit of role reversal from Game 1, which saw the Golden Knights with a 42-30 advantage in shots on goal. Instead, it was Minnesota opening with offensive firepower in the first, outshooting Vegas, 17-10 on goal, and 24-18 overall.
Carrying over an exquisite strategy from the opener, the Wild made it difficult for the Golden Knights to get inside shots, suffocating them by sending two skaters at almost anyone on attack and taking away the passing lanes.
And when either team was able to penetrate the zone and put pressure on the goal, Talbot and Fleury were equally spectacular. If it wasn’t Talbot making a poke check on Vegas captain Mark Stone in what might have been the Golden Knights’ best opportunity, it was Fleury making stops from rapid-fire attempts off rebounds in front.
Dumba opened the scoring when he took advantage of a screen in front of the net and used a wicked wrist shot from the point to beat Fleury on the glove side.
Minnesota’s lead didn’t last long. Marchessault answered 18 seconds later with a shot from the right dot, giving Vegas much-needed life. It was Vegas’ first goal in 95 minutes, 45 seconds, of the best-of-seven set.
The Golden Knights took the lead when defenseman Alex Pietrangelo raced into the zone and fired a shot that caromed off Talbot’s glove and behind the net. Vegas forward Mattias Janmark raced in and backhanded the puck to the slot, where Tuch was there to clean it up, giving Vegas its first lead of the series with 2:41 left in the second period.
Tuch closed things out with a power-play goal with 52 seconds left in the game.
This story will be updated throughout the game
PRE-GAME: Marc-Andre Fleury in net tonight for the Knights. Cam Talbot for the Wild. Max Pacioretty still out for Knights with an undisclosed injury.
FIRST PERIOD: Knights 0, Wild 0. Shots on goal: Wild 17, Knights 10
SECOND PERIOD: Wild goal Matt Dumba (1) (Wrist shot), Assist: Jonas Brodin (1). WILD 1, KNIGHTS 0.
Knights goal Jonathan Marchessault (1) , Assist: Reilly Smith (1), William Karlsson (1). KNIGHTS 1, WILD 1.
Knights goal Alex Tuch (1) (Snap shot), Assists: Mattias Janmark (1) and Alex Pietrangelo (1). KNIGHTS 2, WILD 1. Shots on goal: Wild 27, Knights 23.
THIRD PERIOD: Knights Alex Tuch (2) with a power-play goal. Assists to Chandler Stephenson (1) and Mark Stone (1). KNIGHTS 3, WILD 1. FINAL Shots on goal: Wild 35, Knights 28
This is the pre-game story
Minnesota Wild won Game 1 of the best-of-seven series 1-0 OT on Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota Wild (35-16-5, third in the West Division) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (40-14-2, second in the West Division)
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada; Tuesday, 7p.m. PDT
LINE: Golden Knights -155, Wild +131; over/under is 5.5
BOTTOM LINE: Vegas hosts the Minnesota Wild after Minnesota takes a 1-0 lead in Western Division semi-final.
The Golden Knights are 40-14-2 against division opponents. Vegas has scored 190 goals and is third in the NHL averaging 3.4 per game. Max Pacioretty leads the team with 24.
The Wild are 35-16-5 against opponents in the West Division. Minnesota has scored 180 goals and is eighth in the league averaging 3.2 goals per game. Kirill Kaprizov leads the team with 27.
In their last meeting on May 15, Wild won 1-0 in OT
TOP PERFORMERS: Mark Stone leads the Golden Knights with 40 assists and has 61 points this season. Reilly Smith has 9 points over the last 10 games for Vegas.
Kaprizov has 51 total points while scoring 27 goals and totaling 24 assists for the Wild. Kevin Fiala has 10 points over the last 10 games for Minnesota.
LAST 10 GAMES: Golden Knights: 7-3-0, averaging 3.6 goals, six assists, 3.4 penalties and 7.1 penalty minutes while giving up 2.1 goals per game with a .919 save percentage.
Wild: 5-3-2, averaging 3.6 goals, 5.7 assists, 2.7 penalties and 6.3 penalty minutes while giving up four goals per game with an .858 save percentage.
INJURIES: Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty: day to day (undisclosed).
Wild: Kevin Fiala: day to day (lower body).