The Minnesota Wild will try to bounce back on short rest when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night to complete a four-game road trip.
The Wild are coming off a late-night loss against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Marcus Foligno scored Minnesota’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat, which snapped a nine-game point streak for the Wild.
Despite the setback, Minnesota still has the best record in the Western Conference with 39 points through 27 games. A win on Sunday would give the Wild a 3-1-0 record on their western road trip.
Wild forward Jordan Greenway said he and his teammates were taking nothing for granted but had full confidence in themselves and one another.
“That’s what we signed up for,” Greenway said. “We want to be the top team. We want to stay on top.
“In order for us to do that, we’ve got to continue to do the things that have gotten us here, and I think that’s going to be a focus and something that we’ve got to continue to think about. We’ve got to respect the teams that we play.”
That includes the next team, Vegas, which is off to an up-and-down start to the season with 30 points in 26 games. The Golden Knights are coming off a 4-3 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night but won three games in a row before that setback.
This game will be the conclusion of a four-game homestand for Vegas, which heads to Boston to begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday night.
Chandler Stephenson leads the Golden Knights with 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 25 games. Reilly Smith is second with 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 26 games, and Alex Pietrangelo paces the team’s blue-liners with 18 points (4 goals, 14 assists) in 26 games.
However, Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer has pointed to the presence of Mark Stone as a key factor when the Golden Knights succeed. Stone has dealt with injuries this season but is healthy now, providing stingy defense while making a difference on offense with 16 points (3 goals, 13 assists) in 14 games.
“He really drives things for us when he’s in the lineup,” DeBoer said. “When he’s not, we really miss him in a whole lot of different areas. I’m just glad that he’s healthy, he’s back, and he’s a game-changer for us every night.”
The Wild are led in scoring by Kirill Kaprizov, who has 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 27 games. Ryan Hartman is enjoying a stellar season with 22 points (13 goals, 9 assists) in 27 contests, and Mats Zuccarello ranks third with 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) in 21 games.
“(We have) a lot of meat and potato guys that want to go out there and grind and find ways to win,” Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski said. “It’s just about keeping your foot on the gas.”
–Field Level Media