Wild's OT gamble pays off in win over Nashville: 'We needed 2 points'

The Minnesota Wild is a desperate team, six points out of a playoff spot with 18 regular season games to play.

So it should be no surprise that John Hynes rolled the dice Sunday, and it worked out in a 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators. With the two teams tied 3-3 in overtime and less than two minutes to play, Hynes pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in favor of an extra attacker. The catch? An NHL rule that if a team does that in overtime and gives up a goal, they get no points instead of at least one.

The Wild got two points as Matt Boldy scored at the 3:50 mark of overtime. Postgame, Hynes said it was a risk worth taking.

"I mean it’s one point. You know we need two points and you know we feel like we were organized with it. The players knew what was going on and I think it’s when you put the four guys we have on the ice that we believe gives us the best chance to score a goal and get two points, and that’s what we’re here for," Hynes said. "It’s not something that you do all the time, but I think in our position we want to be aggressive. We want to get two points, we want to continue to fight. We believe in our group and continue to play meaningful games down the stretch, let the chips fall where they may. In the situation we’re in, no points, one point is not going to do us any good. We need to get two points."

Of the players who spoke in the locker room after the game, only Ryan Hartman said he knew of the rule.

"Yes. I love it. In the position we are, we really needed two points. I love that play," Hartman said.

Boldy and Marcus Foligno freely admitted they did not know the rule.

"No idea. To be completely honest, I thought we were drawing up in case we got a power play. So that’s how out of the loop I was," Foligno said. "But it makes total sense. It’s a risk you play, but I think we’re very confident with those four guys. We need all the points, and risky moves you’ve got to make. No idea about that rule."

"It was mentioned a little before the start of overtime, kind of the first we heard about it. It worked out well. I did not know that, good thing we scored. We need those points, huge to get the win," Boldy said.

The Wild still has a steep hill to climb, at 69 points and in the No. 9 spot in the West. Both the Vegas Golden Knights and L.A. Kings are six points ahead, at 75. 

The Wild hosts the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday night.