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  • Wild 4, Coyotes 0: Kirill Kaprizov and Cam Talbot lead Wild to victory


    The Minnesota Wild entered the game against the Arizona Coyotes as one of the best teams in the league over the last couple of weeks after winning their previous two games at home against the Vegas Golden Knights, and were looking to take advantage of a Coyotes team who, despite grabbing 3 out of 4 points, were heavily outplayed in their previous two games against the Colorado Avalanche.

    The first five minutes or so of the first period were not particularly eventful for either team, as they both seemed to be feeling each other out and trying to determine what the pace of the game would be.

    At about the five minute mark of the game, Carson Soucy was assessed the game’s first penalty for holding and the Coyotes went on the power-play, but the Wild’s penalty kill continued their strong play and prevented the Coyotes from getting many great scoring chances.

    Despite the Coyotes controlling the play for the most part, Talbot was there to make a couple of good saves, and the Wild finally got going as a strong shift by Minnesota’s fourth line led to some extended time in the offensive zone.

    After some fairly back and forth play for several minutes, Talbot once again had to come up with some big saves as he had to stop Phil Kessel on consecutive breakaways.

    Shortly after that, Kevin Fiala took a slashing penalty and put the Coyotes on their second power play of the game, but that was quickly negated as Phil Kessel tripped Nico Sturm to even things up at 4-on-4.

    The Wild controlled the play during the 4-on-4, and Arizona goaltender Adin Hill had to make several good saves, including a great glove save on Jonas Brodin.

    After the 4-on-4, the remaining minutes of the period were fairly uneventful, and the first period ended with the score tied at 0-0.

    Both teams came out flying in the second period, with both getting several quality scoring chances in the first couple of minutes.

    Similar to the first period, the Coyotes continued to relentlessly forecheck and they were able to pin the Wild in their defensive zone which created several great scoring chances for them, but Talbot continued his great play with several more quality saves.

    After a good drive to the net by Ryan Hartman that drew a penalty and the Wild’s first power play of the game, the Wild had some good offensive zone time and created a few good shots on goal, but they just weren’t able to put the puck in the net.

    Just after that penalty expired, the Coyotes were called for tripping again and the Wild got their second power-play of the period. Much like the first power-play, the Wild generated several good chances, but Hill was up to the task.

    Then with just under a minute to go in the period, Kevin Fiala drew the Wild’s third consecutive power-play, but they didn’t do much of anything with it and the score remained 0-0 at the end of the second period.

    The Wild started the third period with an abbreviated power play, but they could never really establish themselves in the offensive zone and the Coyotes killed off the remainder of the man advantage.

    After that, the rest of the third period was the Kirill Kaprizov show as he scored three goals for his first career hat trick, leading the Wild to a big win over a divisional opponent. We could recap the third period in more detail, but Kirill Kaprizov was the entire story tonight. He is an incredibly special talent, player, and person, and we are incredibly lucky to have him in Minnesota.

    Burning Questions

    Can Cam Talbot rebound?

    A shutout on 25 shots? Generally looking pretty sharp?

    As John Wick would say, “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.”

    Some rust to shake off for Ryan Hartman?

    Maybe a little, but Hartman did have some good looks at the net and some decent chances robbed by Hill. One thing’s for sure, the Wild have to be happy to have the shot-blocking, minute munching centerman back on the third line.

    Will the powerplay still look this good?

    Um, that would be a no. Four more chances with zero conversions. Looks like we can’t get everything we want.

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