Wild take down NHL-leading Colorado, 3-2, in overtime
Cam Talbot made 41 saves, and Kevin Fiala won it 15 seconds into overtime
ST. PAUL — After completing a season sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks with a 3-1 victory on March 19, Minnesota Wild players acknowledged they needed to start playing better against the rest of their Central Division rivals.
Against Dallas, Colorado, Nashville and Winnipeg, the Wild were 2-7, and Sunday was the first chance for the Wild to put their money where their mouth is when they played host to the NHL-leading Avalanche.
So far, so good.
Ryan Hartman sent the game to overtime with 5:25 remaining, and Kevin Fiala scored on a one-timer from the right circle 15 seconds into overtime as Minnesota beat Central-leading Colorado, 3-2, at Xcel Energy Center.
Cam Talbot made 41 saves for his eighth straight victory. The Wild were on a four-on-three power play in overtime after Erik Johnson was called for crosschecking former Avs center Tyson Jost with 29 seconds left.
Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantenen scored goals as Colorado rallied from a 1-0, third-period deficit, but the Wild won their second overtime decision of the weekend and improved to 1-2 against their Central Division rival. Outplayed for most of the game, the Wild stayed in it on the strength of Talbot’s goaltending and took an unlikely 1-0 lead on a power-play goal from Kirill Kaprizov with 1:53 left in the second period.
FIALA FIFTEEN SECONDS INTO OT#mnwild pic.twitter.com/dn1wmsv43A— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 28, 2022
But Minnesota was getting badly outshot — 34-15 early in the third period — and it was almost inevitable that at least one Colorado shot would find the back of the net. It started when Kadri scooped up a quick pass from J.T. Compher off a faceoff and fired from the top of the left circle to beat Talbot 5 hole to tie the game 1-1 at 6:21 of the third period.
The Avalanche went ahead 2-1 when Mikko Rantenen scored on a wrist shot from between the cirlces on a power play at 10:03.
But Hartman tied the game 2-2 with 5:27 left in regulation. Waiting at the left of the crease, he one-timed a pass from Mats Zuccarello high into the top of the net to ignite the crowd of 19,140.
Kaprizov scored for the third time in two games and pulled within two points of Marian Gaborik’s single-season points record of 83, set in 2007-08. He nearly won it with two seconds left in regulation, but his one timer from the top of the left circle hit the crossbar.