Make it two wins in a row for our Minnesota Wild after defeating the Nashville Predators by a score of 4-3 in regulation. Lucky for us, the score line doesn’t reflect just how heart-pumping the action was in the final minutes of the game.
With Minnesota up by two goals to one after the second intermission, we were steadily approaching cautious optimism that we can declare that this team is feeling itself once again. And, of course, Kirill Kaprizov made us say that statement actually out loud.
Kaprizov just makes it look so incredibly easy. No support in the offensive zone, he just simply wires it past Saros from distance even when the Predators defender starts to give him a little pressure.
Unfortunately, Nashville smelled literal blood in the water and kept piling on chances after the Wild missed their opportunity to seal the game with a four-minute power play when Jonas Brodin was struck in the face by former teammate Nino Neiderreiter and was sent off the ice a little bloody. With five minutes minutes remaining and the Wild holding a two-goal lead, Roman Josi just had to ruin the fun and scored a goal to make it 3-2.
Okay, but the Wild could easily just coast until the end of the game with that lead and make it through. Ah, well Nino himself decided to ruin those plays and scored a tying goal with just 47 seconds left in the game.
We wholeheartedly believed that this was going to overtime and we were going to see what happened there. With some skilled skaters like Josi on the opposing team, we were concerned.
Well, thanks to Ryan Hartman being in the right place at the right time, we didn’t have to worry about that at all.
(Ignore the typo in the tweet, please.)
Hartman stands still with his chest pointed towards the goal and after the puck ping-ponged around the offensive zone, he managed to score via a bodily deflection with just TWENTY-ONE seconds left on the clock and the Wild earned their first regulation win in 13 games.
To cap off the insane dramatics of the game, some milestones were met and we were treated to a show.
With an assist on Hartman’s game-winner, Jared Spurgeon claimed the top spot in scoring among defensemen with 370 total points as a Wild blueliner, beating out Ryan Suter’s previous record. He is also ranked fourth in scoring among all Wild skaters.
We also could not talk about this game without mentioning Kaprizov scoring the second and third Wild goal. He now sits eighth in goals scored among all NHL players with 33. We’ll never stop being impressed.
And with these two points, the Wild are still in the second Wild Card spot but have closed the gap between them and the Colorado Avalanche. At the time of writing, the Oilers are beating the Avalanche and if that stands, then they will be tied in points with the Wild with just one game in-hand. Minnesota is slowly creeping back up into being one of the best teams in the Central.
Anyways, as we come down from the high of watching that regulation win, the Wild are hosting Kevin Fiala and his Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. That is always a dramatic matchup.
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