Wild hope to avoid elimination on road vs. Golden Knights

NHL Hockey

Not even the insertion of Zach Parise, the franchise’s playoff scoring leader, into the lineup was enough for the Minnesota Wild.

Now they’ll have to go on the road to avoid elimination in their first-round, best-of-seven NHL playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Wild, who won the series opener 1-0 in overtime in Las Vegas, have lost three games in a row for the first time this season, including a 4-0 defeat Saturday in Game 4 in St. Paul, Minn. Nicolas Roy scored twice for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves for the shutout.

“Maybe something that we can feel good about going down there, that we have been able to win games down there in that building,” Parise said. “(Wild goalie Cam Talbot) has always played really well in that building, so a couple positives for us to look at, but there’s still things that we can do better that will give ourselves a better chance to win the game.”

Parise had been a healthy scratch for the first three games of the series, but drew in after Marcus Johansson suffered a broken arm in Game 3.

The 36-year-old Parise, playing on the fourth line, was a minus-2 with two shots on goal and two hits in 12:17 on the ice. He didn’t get any shifts on the power play, which went 0-for-3 and allowed a short-handed goal to Vegas’ Mark Stone.

Parise deflected all questions about his playing time, saying he didn’t want to be a “distraction.”

“It’s been difficult (not playing), but right now what’s more important, I guess, is that we’re down 3-1 in the series,” Parise said. “That’s where all the attention should be, is how can we get ourselves back into this series, win a game and then bring this thing back to Minnesota (for Game 6 on Wednesday).”

Minnesota is 0-for-8 on the power play in the series.

“I think we just have to move the puck quicker. (Their penalty kill is) running around and doing a great job, especially on our breakouts,” Wild forward Kevin Fiala said. “We couldn’t get in clearly and make something, so we just have to bear down on the faceoffs and help on the draws and do everything to win them back, and on the power play to move the puck quicker and shoot some pucks and get the pucks back. I don’t think we are doing the right things right now.”

Stone said his team shouldn’t expect an easy time in Game 5. Including the playoffs, Minnesota is 6-3-1 in Vegas since the Golden Knights entered the NHL in the 2017-18 season.

“We’re going to have to expect their best effort,” Stone said. “They’re going to want to come with a push. We’re going to have to do the same thing.”

Roy’s opening goal, at 10:37 of the first period, marked the first time in the series the Golden Knights had scored before the eight-minute mark of the middle frame.

“So far, it’s been our best (game),” Roy said. “We played the full 60 minutes … and I think if we play like that, we’re very tough to beat.”

–Field Level Media

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Now Trending on KRQE.com

Statewide Hourly Forecasts ⟶

Albuquerque Hourly Forecast

Don't Miss


Photo Galleries


News Resources - Maps