Wild winger Matt Boldy nets first career playoff goal in losing effort
For the Wild, the hope is that Boldy’s goal sparks his entire line moving forward.
ST. LOUIS — With the Minnesota Wild in desperate need of a spark in Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday at Enterprise Center, rookie winger Matt Boldy stepped up big time.
After an initial shot on net resulted in traffic near Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, Boldy spotted the loose puck in the crease and jammed it home to cut into the deficit.
While it wasn’t the prettiest play by any stretch of the imagination, it will forever go down as Boldy’s first career playoff goal. It certainly won’t be his last.
“It feels good,” Boldy said before immediately shifting the focus to the fact that the Wild suffered a 5-2 loss to the Blues. “Obviously would have been nice to get a win.”
For the Wild, the hope is that Boldy’s goal sparks his entire line moving forward. He has skated alongside Freddy Gaudreau and opposite Kevin Fiala for most of this season. It’s not very often they were bottled up as much as they have been in this series.
In other words, the Wild need more from the line In Game 5, Game 6 and, potentially, Game 7.
“We’ve got to find a way to be better and take the momentum we created and use it to our advantage,” Boldy said. “We have to be better for sure.”
Like it has a number of times this season, the power play cost the Wild in their Game 4 loss. Not only did the Wild finish 0 for 4 on the man advantage, they came up empty down the stretch with a chance to tie the game.
“We had good looks,” coach Dean Evason said. “We missed the net. We just looked at it. I think the stats say we had 20 missed shots, and I’d say a lot of them were probably on the power play. We just didn’t hit the net.”
That limited second chance opportunities for the Wild and might explain why they never found the back of the net.
“We still, on some of them, created some momentum, and that’s the most important part,” Gaudreau said. “Of course we want to get some goals, but like I said, there were some opportunities there.”
Still, it would’ve been nice to cash in on the power play, right?
“So be it,” Dumba said. “This is a game we’re gonna put behind us and move forward.”
No matter what happens next week, if the Wild win both games at Xcel Energy Center, they will advance to the next round. That’s why the Wild so badly wanted home-ice advantage in the series against the Blues.
That said, as confident as the Wild are when it comes to playing in St .Paul, they aren’t taking it for granted right now. As both the Wild and Blues have already proven once in this series, home-ice advantage doesn’t mean anything if the home team loses.
“We know we have to work it into existence,” Dumba said. “We’re always happy to go home and be in front of our fans. Hopefully build some good momentum here in Game 5.”