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  • Koivu nets number 200 in 4-2 win over Golden Knights


    If you had money on the prop bets, this game might have paid you big. The Wild were in Sin City for the first time this season to take on the Golden Knights. Minnesota needed to scratch and claw for every goal, while Devan Dubnyk had to scratch and claw for all the saves.

    The Vegas Golden Knights are a fast, dynamic, new-school team and their speed was evident from the drop of the puck. It didn't take long for Alex Tuch to put the Knights up 1-0 on a 2-on-1 break. It's not like Wild fans forgot about him, but he was quick to remind them he was in Vegas with his 16th goal of the season at 3:37 of the period. Dubnyk remained strong to close the first period. Minnesota had a few shots on Marc-Andre Fleury, but the chances were few and far between.

    If you put $10 down in Tuch to score against the team who drafted him, you won $100 for being the first goal scorer of the game. If you ponied up the $150 to win $100 for a goal within the first 10 minutes, that was another $100 in your pocket.

    The second period was where the game really opened up. The Wild were still lagging behind in shots. That changed when Marcus Foligno tied the game at one goal apiece. Nick Seeler kept the puck in at the left point and dumped the puck down the boards for Joel Eriksson Ek waiting behind the net. Eriksson Ek shed off a body check and found Foligno in the slot for the tally.

    If you had money Foligno scoring first, you just barely missed out on 40:1 odds. It was 40:1 odds if Foligno was the first to score a goal of the game.

    Shortly after Foligno tied the game, Eric Staal scored his 5th goal in as many games against the Golden Knights. It was number 15 of the season for Staal. However, the play all started by Jordan Greenway showing off his strength. The puck was bouncing around the skates near the top of the circles in the VGK zone. He charged into the pile like a billiard cue ball on the opening break, and came out with the puck on his stick. Without a good shooting angle, Greenway circled the net, and sent a backhander across the blue paint of the goal crease. Staal was there waiting on the backdoor to put it home.

    Suddenly the Wild were ahead by a goal. Though, that Vegas speed became a factor again. With the Wild giving up odd-man rushes like free drinks on Fremont Street, the one goal lead was never going to be safe. Getting lost in all the commotion, Max Pacioretty won you another $50 on a $100 dollar bet if you had action on him. He scored his 14th of the season just a little over 2 minutes after Staal's go-ahead marker by tucking the puck just inside the far post.

    Dubnyk was otherwise strong in net. He'd finish the night having made 30 saves in the win. He also helped backstop a perfect 5-for-5 penalty kill. Nowhere was the PK stronger (it needed to be) than a gigantic 5-on-3 disadvantage to start the 3rd period. Ryan Suter was called for slashing just 15 seconds into the frame. Then Marcus Foligno cleared a puck over the glass for Delay of Game. Zach Parise made a couple humongous shot blocks near the point, and Koivu had a big face off win to help in the effort.

    The Knights were threatening, but they had issues hitting the net as the period progressed. This let the Wild hang around. Marcus Foligno put together another great shift in the offensive zone. He worked the puck deep into the zone. After winning the battle, he got the puck to Staal. Staal found a fresh-off-the-bench Charlie Coyle coming through the right side. Charlie tried a wrap-around and hit the post. But with Foligno battling in front of the net, the Knights defenseman couldn't clear the puck. Instead Jared Spurgeon pounced the on the biscuit, and shoveled a pass back to Coyle on the open wing for the go-ahead goal.

    All of the Wild's goals came by battling, and scuffling around the Golden Knight net. Except for the last one. It was still battling and scuffling, but it happened far away from the net and ended in an empty net goal. Mikael Granlund was held up at the Wild blue as he tried to battle and clear the zone. He did get the puck out to center, but Jonathan Marchessault was there...until he wasn't. Parise stole the puck and started toward the Vegas net. He had to fight off the hooks and holds like fighting off the guys at the street corners peddling cards for prostitutes. From his knees, he found Mikko Koivu in the slot. Koivu had to fight to get the puck into the gaping net to seal the deal. It was also Koivu’s 200th career goal. Empty net goals usually come easier than that, so no one should balk at number 200 coming with the net being empty.

    So while you might have had terrible odds with Parise not scoring a goal (-220), you might have gotten paid if you put money on the "No" bet at +190 for the team scoring first winning the game.

    Vegas bookmakers must hate the Wild because night-in and night-out there's no chance of knowing what might happen. In this instance, the Wild got some fans paid if they played their money right.

    And Koivu got number 200. Stick tap to that. Time to parlay this money into something more.




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