GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It’s a good thing Wild goaltender Cam Talbot was sharp early in Wednesday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. If he wasn’t, the game might’ve been over shortly after it started.
To say the Wild stumbled out of the gates would be putting it lightly. They looked completely disinterested for the opening 10 minutes, and the Coyotes took advantage with a flurry of offensive chances.
Luckily for the Wild, Talbot stood on his head long enough to calm things down, and eventually his teammates caught up en route to a 4-1 win. Kevin Fiala, Marcus Foligno, Kirill Kaprizov and Nico Sturm scored the goals, and Talbot finished with 39 saves to help steal the win.
Though it wasn’t the prettiest game by any means, the Wild will certainly take the ugly win with the regular season quickly winding to a close.
Especially considering the game nearly got away from Wild in the first period as the Coyotes looked very much like a team scrapping for the final playoff spot in the West Division. They won seemingly every race to the puck and every board battle and eventually got rewarded with a goal from Christian Dvorak to make it 1-0.
That said, the fact that the Wild were still very much in the game heading into the second period had to feel like a win in the grand scheme of things.
The Wild probably didn’t deserve to be that close based on their collective effort. However, a few minutes into the second period, Fiala buried a perfect pass from Nico Sturm to tie the game at 1-1.
Talbot stayed sharp between the pipes, stopping every shot in his path to give his team a chance down the stretch.
That score held into the third period where the Wild seized control. It started with a breakaway goal from Foligno to make it 2-1 and continued with the latest highlight-reel goal from Kaprizov to stretch the lead to 3-1. That effectively sealed the game, and Sturm potted an empty-netter to finalize the score at 4-1.