LAS VEGAS — It was a whirlwind 48 hours for Wild veteran Nick Bonino leading up to Game 7 at T-Mobile Arena.
He arrived at a hospital in the Twin Cities on Wednesday morning with his wife Lauren about to give birth to the couple’s first son. The doctors induced labor a few hours later and Bowie came into the world right around 2:30 p.m.
After spending some quality time with the family, Bonino packed up his stuff and raced to downtown St. Paul for a must-win Game 6 of the first-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights. He arrived a couple of hours before puck drop at Xcel Energy Center and was able to go through his usual pregame routine.
“My plan the whole day was to play,” Bonino said. “Obviously, if complications arose as it got closer to the game, we would have talked about it. I got to the (8 p.m.) game at 6 o’clock. I was able to get a normal warmup in. All the guys were congratulating me. It was pretty cool.”
Though he admitted to feeling a little tired during warmups for Wednesday’s game, Bonino got a rush of adrenaline once the puck dropped. He logged exactly 11 minutes of ice time as the Wild earned a 3-0 victory over the Golden Knights to force a Game 7.
“Those are easy to get up for,” Bonino said. “It was great to be a part of a win like that.”
With the Wild forcing a Game 7 on the road, Bonino had to board the team charter to Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon. He admitted it was a weird feeling leaving home just 24 hours after his son was born.
Plus, he wasn’t sure how long he would been gone. If the Wild beat Vegas in Game 7, they would fly straight to Denver for a second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.
“It’s a little bit hard,” Bonino said. “But we’re in the playoffs. We have help at home with Lauren’s family, so these are things we were ready for. I would love to be able to put the kids in the (Stanley Cup), and this is part of that.”
It’s hard to believe Wild veteran Zach Parise spent the early portion of the first-round series with the Golden Knights as a healthy scratch. Especially considering the impact he has made since being reinserted into the lineup for Game 4.
After feeling his way through his first game of the postseason, Parise scored a big goal in Game 5 and added an important assist in Game 6. Not that he was surprised by his production.
“There was never any doubt in my mind that I can play and be an impact player in the series and in these games,” Parise said. “I’m just happy to be in the room and playing and hopefully keep contributing to the team winning.”
Needless to say, Parise is enjoying his view from the ice level a heck of a lot more than watching from up above alongside team reporter Dan Myers.
“I was begging them, ‘Just don’t put my tickets next to Dan anymore please,’ ” Parise joked. “Fortunately, they moved me down the bench, so no looking back.”
After suffering a lower-body injury earlier this week, defenseman Carson Soucy participated in the morning skate ahead of Friday’s game. But he wasn’t available to play in the actual game; fellow defenseman Calen Addison moved back into the lineup instead.
“He’s just progressing,” coach Dean Evason said of Soucy. “He’s gone through rehab and all that good stuff. The next step is on the ice.”