Minnesota Wild top defending champion Golden Knights 5-3 in Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice and the Minnesota Wild beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-3 on Monday night for their third straight win.

Mats Zuccarello, Marco Rossi and Matt Boldy also scored to help Minnesota win for the sixth time in eight games. Filip Gustavsson made 27 saves.

Jonathan Marchessault, Michael Amadio and Mark Stone scored for Vegas, while Adin Hill stopped 24 shots.

One night after the Super Bowl became the most-watched program in television history up the road at Allegiant Stadium, a sellout crowd of 18,207 inside T-Mobile Arena saw the defending champion Golden Knights lose just their third home game in 2024.

“The management of the puck to set our game up to spend a lot of time in the offensive zone was really strong,” Minnesota coach John Hynes said. “So it’s great to get the two points. But the thing I’m most encouraged about is the process of the last two games, the style of game and commitment that it’s going to take to be able to win down the stretch.”

With the game tied at 2-all, the Wild retook the lead when Rossi punched in a rebound after Hill made an initial save and thought he had the rebound when it dropped out of his glove, and the puck bounced into the crease. Boldy made it a two-goal game 61 seconds later when he tapped in a floater from the goal line.

“I was thinking just throw it to the net, to be honest,” Boldy said. “It wasn’t much to it, just got lucky.”

The loss spoiled Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s 1,000th career game. Pietrangelo had two assists to become the sixth defenseman in NHL history to record multiple assists in his 1,000th career game. The two-time Stanley Cup champion was celebrated before the game.

Marchessault became just the ninth player in NHL history to score in under 30 seconds in consecutive contests when his chip shot from the goal line clipped Minnesota defenseman Brock Faber’s skate and dropped behind Gustavsson just 22 seconds into the game.

Marchessault scored 19 seconds into a 3-2 win at Arizona last Thursday.

The Wild took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play midway through the first when Zuccarello one-timed a pass from Kirill Kaprizov to tie the score. Minnesota took the lead less than two minutes later when Eriksson Ek tapped a rebound over Hill’s right leg from in front of the crease.

Amadio scored his 50th career goal when he ripped a shot past Gustavsson from the top of the right circle to tie the score late in the first.

After a scoreless second, things heated up in the final period when the Wild scored their back-to-back goals nearly a minute apart.

Stone cut the lead to one shortly thereafter when his blast from the top of the right circle blew past Gustavsson, but Eriksson Ek’s empty-net goal provided the final margin.

“I thought we mismanaged pucks between the blues after the first five minutes,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I’m not making excuses but I was concerned today about how our energy level would be. It started out well and then some of the guys we rely on didn’t quite have it tonight either.”

UP NEXT

Wild: Visit Arizona on Wednesday

Golden Knights: Host Carolina on Saturday

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL