The Devils head to Montreal to play the Canadiens on Thanksgiving this Thursday. The game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at NewJerseyDevils.com. Puck drop is 7:38 p.m. ET.
"Our execution, particularly early in the game, was not where it needed to be. It's a riddle we need to solve," said Devils head coach John Hynes after the game. "We came off the back-to-back and practiced then played with no skate (on Saturday). This morning we skated and worked on execution. We had some turnovers and recurring themes tonight. We'll let the players explain that tomorrow."
Blake Coleman was called for interference to put Minnesota on the game's first power play and the Wild connected four seconds into the man advantage.
Ryan Suter snapped a shot off the face-off that beat Louis Domingue with former Devil Zach Parise acting as the screen in front, tipping it home.
With 7:16 to go in the first, Jesper Boqvist rifled a shot from the right circle that beat Minnesota starting goaltender Kaapo Kakhonen, knotting the game at 1-1. The goal was challenged by Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau that Wayne Simmonds had used a high stick to bat the puck down earlier in the sequence and he failed the challenge, giving the Devils a power play.
"It's something that I've worked on my whole life. It was a nice feeling to get that one out of the way," said Boqvist about his first career goal. "Finally. It's a nice feeling. Nice screen by Jack and pass by Simmer."
"It's a long time coming for Jesper, it's a special event in his life. Hopefully it helps him continue to move forward," noted Coach Hynes.
Devils weren't able to score on that man advantage but nearly took the lead in the final minute. Wild netminder Kaapo Kakhonen made a big sprawling stop on a scramble in front to keep the game tied.
Shots on goal after one were 12-9 for the Wild.
New Jersey came out flying to start the second period, outshooting the Wild 8-1 through the first seven minutes but it was the Wild that would score to regain their lead.
Jordan Greenway got in behind the Devils defense and shelved the puck to put the Wild back in the lead.
The teams then traded power plays in the latter half of the second. Nico Hischier was called for holding and shortly after that expired, Kevin Fiala of Minnesota was sent off for hooking.
Thirty-nine seconds into the power play, Taylor Hall centered a pass in front and Kyle Palmieri redirected it past Kakhonen to tie things up once again but three minutes into the third, Ryan Suter scored what would end up as the winner.
"You wind up scoring that goal, tie the game. We had a little bit of a push in the third period but you didn't build off the goal," stated coach Hynes. "Execution is the biggest part of it. Even late in the game, we had the goalie pulled and had 10-15 foot passes bouncing off sticks. "