Despite Late Comeback, Wild Fall Short to Canucks in Game Two

Minnesota Wild, Zach Parise #11 (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Zach Parise #11 (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images) /

Kevin Fiala nearly forced overtime with the goalie pulled, but it wasn’t enough as the Wild fall short to the Canucks in game two 4-3.

Like game 1, this game was extremely physical. There were 56 total hits between the two teams. The Wild’s play was rather undisciplined and gifting the dangerous Canucks 7 power-play chances. While the Wild’s PK was strong for 6 out of the 7, Horvat’s power-play goal helped keep the game out of reach.

Tyler Toffoli and Adam Gaudette were not in game 2. Loui Eriksson replaced Toffoli and slid into the Canucks top 6. Jake Virtanen, who scored 18 regular season goals slid to the bottom line on the right side, replacing Adam Gaudette. Dean Evason’s lines stayed the exact same as game 1

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After being shutout in game 1, we knew the Canucks would come out flying with intensity in game 2, and rightfully so. Just 24 seconds in Tanner Pearson roofed a wrist shot short side over the shoulder of Stalock and under the bar.

The Wild tried to get momentum back with some big hits and got awarded with a power-play only 2 minutes in. Unfortunately for the Wild, they failed to connect on the Power play, despite scoring 2 goals on the PP in game 1.

Joel Eriksson Ek continued to get under the skin of Canucks player and drew a penalty just seconds after the Wild’s first Power-play. Wild came up short again on the power-play only getting one shot on goal.

It was a little concerning that the Wild held the Canucks top 6 to only 6 shots in game one, so we knew they’d find some ways to create more scoring chances. Stalock bailed the Wild out on the PK stopping 3 wonderful scoring chances for Horvat, Boeser, and Pettersson.

Jordan Greenway was using his body well resulting in big hits for the Wild. Greenway got called for slashing and the Canucks went right back on the power-play. Suter started a breakout pass from Stalock giving it to Zach Parise who entered the zone with Luke Kunin on his left side. Parise gave a good pass to Kunin who ripped a shot over the shoulder of Markstrom resulting in a short-handed goal.

It was Parise’s 40th career playoff assist and 75th playoff point in the 99th career playoff game.

The second period was a sloppy one for the Wild defensively. Despite strong 5v5 zone play, Alex Galchenyuk dropped a pass directly on the stick of Canucks all-star winger JT Miller, who made no mistake. Miller, the Canucks leading point-getter in the regular season, rips one passed Stalock giving the Canucks a 2-1 lead.

Minutes later, the Wild failed to clear the zone where Edler held the line and fed a pass to Pettersson who deflected the puck directly on the stick of the Burnsville native Brock Boeser who buried it. 3-1 Canucks lead.


After all 3 Vancouver goals, the Wild had won the next offensive zone faceoff, applied pressure resulting in power-plays, and generated High Danger Scoring Chances (HDSC). The Wild weren’t able to capitalize though. One chance, in particular, was Staal’s point black slot chance after the JT Miller goal. Fiala put a beautiful pass on Staal’s stick but Markstrom turned it aside.

Another Galchenyuk mistake resulted in a third-period goal for the Canucks. Galchenyuk went off for tripping and just seconds after he stepped back on the ice, Bo Horvat released a rocket passed Stalock.

The Wild held the Canucks’ top 6 to only 6 shots in game 1, this was not the case in game 2. Halfway through the third 4 members from the Canucks top-6 had recorded a goal…

More penalties for the Wild in the third but were killed off by strong PK units for the Wild.

Hartman left with 3 minutes left in the third as Pettersson hit Hartman from behind. It would be a tough blow for the Wild if Hartman can not play in game 3 just because he’s been a dominant factor in the series. 

Fiala was all over the place late in the third and recorded 10 shot attempts in the game. With 2:30 remaining in the third Staal found Fiala alone in the slot where he ripped a shot of the back bar and out. The shot was so quick nobody knew it was in. Fiala’s goal brought them within 2 late in the third.

Stalock went to the bench for the extra attacker, Ryan Donato. Staal won an offensive zone draw where Dumba picked up the loose puck and fed a pass to Fiala who buried a one-timer from the point to bring the Wild within 1 with 7.7 seconds left.

The Wild’s comeback was a little too late and ended up falling short to the Canucks. The Wild will look to use their home-ice advantage for game 3 on Thursday at 1:30 pm to take back the series and make it 2-1 in their favor.

I wouldn’t be surprised to possibly see new lines for the Wild in game 3. During the regular season, the Wild generated the 5th best HDSC on 5v5 hockey. So far out of the Wild’s 6 playoff goals, there hasn’t been a single 5v5 goal. An interesting stat none the less and something to look for in game 3.

Game Highlights:

Notable Stats:                                     Wild   Game Stats  Canucks

Kevin Fiala 2G 6Shots                            35           SOG          28

Eric Staal 2A                                            36.8%      FO%          63.2%

Luke Kunin 1SHG                                    0/6          PP            1/7

Bo Horvat 1PPG & 1A                            16           PIM           14

JT Miller 1G & 1A                                      37          Hits           19

Alexander Edler 2A                                  10         BLKS          13

Jacob Markstrom 32SV                            3            TKA            7

3 Stars of the Game:

  1. J.T. Miller
  2. Bo Horvat
  3. Kevin Fiala