Minnesota Wild rally late to beat Vegas, Blues march towards playoffs, and more NHL West action

May 3, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) celebrates his game-tying goal against the Vegas Golden Knights late in the third period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild entered the third period down by two against the Vegas Golden Knights. Peter DeBoer’s squad is not an easy team to beat with a lead heading into the final stanza at 24-1-0, but the Wild added one more loss in spectacular fashion.

Minnesota Wild rally late for a huge win

Kevin Fiala notched his 20th goal of the season midway through the final stanza to cut the lead to one. Vegas was able to settle it back down but the Wild started buzzing late and tied the game with 1:32 left on the clock. Pending rookie of the year, Kirill Kaprizov tallied his 24th and it was soon followed by another. Jonas Brodin scored just 26 seconds later for the victory.

minnesota wild
May 3, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) celebrates the eventual game-winning goal with 1:06 left on the clock against the Vegas Golden Knights with defensemen Jared Spurgeon (46) at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

After the game DeBoer called it a tough loss and was happy it didn’t take place in a playoff series. Minnesota’s Nick Bonino picked up two goals and added a helper on Fiala’s. After the game he realized the importance of playing well late in the season. “As a group, we’re pretty sure at some point we’re going to have to go through Vegas or Colorado,” he said. “Obviously, we’d love to continue to move up the standings.”

The Wild are now two points behind the Avalanche and four behind the first place Knights with five games left to play. As for Vegas they likely don’t want to see Minnesota in the playoffs since the Wild are 5-1-1 against them this season.

St. Louis Blues are marching towards the playoffs

St. Louis Blues playoffs
ST. LOUIS, MO – May 3: Troy Terry #61 of the Anaheim Ducks attempts to split between Ryan OReilly #90 and Justin Faulk #72 of the St. Louis Blues on May 3, 2021 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

The St. Louis Blues picked up a big win on a night the Arizona Coyotes were defeated 3-2 by the L.A. Kings. Ryan O’Reilly notched his 23rd of the year into an empty net. That goal sealed the game 3-1 over the Anaheim Ducks. They now have a five point lead over the Yotes but also have three games in hand.

“Coming off the road, a number of games on the road, and then coming home here, it didn’t seem like we had a lot of jump or juice,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “But early on in the game, I thought that we did what we had to do to defend our net, blocking shots and things like that. It wasn’t a pretty first period, but we limited them to three shots because we got in the way and blocked shots, things like that. So we did what we had to do.”

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Avalanche closing in on Vegas

The San Jose Sharks out up a fight against the Colorado Avalanche last night. The Avs scored three unanswered starting the third period with Andre Burakovsky winning it just 41 ticks into overtime. Colorado now sits two points behind Vegas with a game in hand. Thanks to their top players Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog who all picked up two points in the contest they closed the gap. The loss also eliminates the Sharks from playoff contention.

“They knew how big of a game it was because we saw that Minnesota had come back to win in regulation, so we were fighting to stay ahead of them and also to pull within two points of Vegas if we won, so the guys were fired up to get out there for the third period and we believed we could get the job done,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.

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