MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Wild are back in Las Vegas to face the Golden Knights Monday night, and the scenario is simple: It’s win and come back to St. Paul, or the season is over.
The Wild lost 4-0 to the Golden Knights in Game 4 Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center to fall behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. The Wild was one of the best home teams in the NHL during the regular season, but now has lost both home playoff games to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Wild has also now lost three straight games for the first time all season.
So what’s wrong with the Wild and how do they bounce back? Hockey analyst Pat Micheletti joined Jim Rich on Fox 9 Sports Now Sunday night to break down what’s gone wrong so far, and tells us what to look for Monday night.
One of the biggest issues? The Wild has scored just four goals in four games. The Wild had a 2-0 lead in Game 3 and it looked like they were going to go up 3-0, but Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal was disallowed after the play was ruled off-side. Saturday night, the Wild appeared to have tie the game 1-1 on an Eriksson Ek goal, but that was also disallowed as Marcus Foligno was called for goaltender interference.
The Wild’s top two scorers during the regular season, Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala, have combined for one point through four games so far. Kaprizov had an assist in Game 3. Fiala has 18 shots, and no goals. Veteran forward Zach Parise was also scratched for the first three games before Marcus Johansson broke his arm. Parise saw his first action of the series in Game 4 and drew a four-minute high sticking penalty, but did not see any time on the power play.
The Wild need a win Monday night in Las Vegas to keep its season alive. A win would send the series back to St. Paul for a Game 6 on Wednesday. If the series goes to a seventh game, the Wild would face the Golden Knights in Las Vegas Friday night.