Wild stave off elimination with just 14 shots, top Vegas 4-2

Sports

Minnesota Wild left wing Jordan Greenway (18) celebrates after scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, May 24, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cam Talbot made 37 saves and the Minnesota Wild beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 despite having only 14 shots on goal to stave off elimination in their opening-round playoff series on Monday night.

Jordan Greenway’s second-period goal was the winner for the Wild, who also got goals from Kirill Kaprizov, Zach Parise, and Nico Sturm.

Vegas, which was looking to close out a playoff series at home for the first time, leads the series 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Mark Stone and Alec Martinez scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed four goals in the first four games, made 10 saves. It marked the first time Fleury allowed more than two goals in a game in 14 contests.

Vegas dropped to 2-3 in Game 4 situations when leading a series 3-1.

Stone opened the scoring when he took a touch pass from Alex Tuch, skated into the zone down the left side, and fired a wrist shot under Talbot’s glove.

It wouldn’t take long for the Wild to answer, as Kaprizov — the favorite to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie — notched his first career playoff goal of the season, ending Minnesota’s scoreless skid at 120 minutes, 36 seconds.

Parise made it 2-1 after an initial shot caromed off the end boards, and he was able to fire a bank shot from below the goal line off the back of Fleury.

Greenway extended the lead when he punched home his own rebound that Fleury couldn’t handle. It marked the first time the Golden Knights allowed three goals in a playoff period in 11 games, dating to the postseason bubble last season.

Martinez got his first point of the postseason during a second-period power play when he ripped a one-timer from the right side after Alex Pietrangelo’s perfectly placed pass arrived at the blade of his stick.

The Knights dominated the second period with relentless pressure in their offensive zone, outshooting the Wild 23-1 and 9-0 with high-danger chances, but only had Martinez’s goal to show for it.

Vegas failed to carry the energy into the final period, firing only two shots on goal over the first 11 minutes of the third. By the 4-minute mark, the Golden Knights had outshot Minnesota 10-4 in the period, but Talbot held firm between the pipes, stopping everything thrown his way, including a pair of incredible saves during back-to-back, point-blank shots by Reilly Smith to preserve the lead.

An empty-net goal from Sturm off the boards with 38.5 seconds left provided the final margin.

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