Minnesota Wild Start Western Canadian Road Trip with Win in Vancouver

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What a great all-around victory for the Minnesota Wild.  Coming into tonight’s game, Minnesota sat seven points out of the playoffs.  The Wild persevered and came out with two points.

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA – JANUARY 05: Ryan Donato #6 of the Minnesota Wild looks on during the game against the Calgary Flames at Xcel Energy Center on January 5, 2020, in St Paul, Minnesota. The Flames defeated the Wild 5-4 in a shootout. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

For those of you that stayed up late into Thursday morning, I commend you.  A game that ended around 12:15 am didn’t disappoint.  With the Wild seven points behind a struggling Coyote team, desperation mode set in.  Right out of the gate the Wild had a good jump to their step.  62 seconds into the game Kevin roofed an absolute rocket from the right circle.

It was one of those shots you barley see and ask yourself, where did that even go in?  The answer is the top shelf, where mom hides the thin mints. It’s been a real treat to see Fiala develop this year.  If you’re looking for more on Fiala’s emergence this season check out Brandon Quast’s article earlier this week.

After a quick start, the Wild failed to register another shot on goal for ten minutes until Ryan Suter finally landed one.  After that shot, the Wild battened down the hatch and went to work.  The Wild received the games’ first power play but failed to convert.  The Wild’s sloppy play trying to enter the offensive zone cost them a chance to double the lead.  After the power play, Dubnyk came up with a big save on a J.T. Miller breakaway opportunity.

With 1:43 left in the 1st period, Joel Eriksson Ek took a holding penalty to put Vancouver on the power play.  A minute into the penalty kill, Ryan Hartman made a nice play on a puck in the defensive zone.  Instead of clearing the zone Hartman zipped a pass to Jordan Greenway, who had a step on Quinn Hughes.  With Greenway’s towering frame bearing down on Markstrom, Hughes was left with no other option than try to slow Greenway down.  In doing so, Hughes took a holding penalty and negated the power play.  The Wild finished out the remainder of the period and carried the 4 on 4 into the second period.

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