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game recap

Wild shut out Golden Knights in Game 6, push series to limit

Score three in third period, Talbot makes 23 saves

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

Talbot blanks Golden Knights

VGK@MIN, Gm6: Talbot earns shutout to force a Game 7

Cam Talbot was perfect in net tonight, stopping 23 of the shots that came his way, helping lift the Wild to a 3-0 win and force a Game 7

  • 00:59 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Cam Talbot made 23 saves, and the Minnesota Wild avoided elimination for the second straight game by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday.

Talbot's shutout was his second of the series; he made 42 saves in a 1-0 overtime win in Game 1.

"I'm just one piece here, and tonight there is 20 pieces out there that did their job, and it was just unbelievable to see and fun to play behind," Talbot said.

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist, and Jared Spurgeon had two assists for Minnesota, the No. 3 seed in the Honda West Division.

"We stuck together the whole year," Fiala said. "Doesn't really matter. Even now, down 3-1 in a series against them, it's not easy to come back. I have a lot of confidence in my group and guys now just let's do it."

Video: VGK@MIN, Gm6: Fiala fires shot under the pad for PPG

Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for Vegas, the No. 2 seed.

"You're not going to play for 60 minutes without giving up something. … That's just the way it goes," Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer said. "We're pushing to win that game, not to not get scored on. That's our mindset and I think it's worked well for us when you look at our record this year."

Game 7 will be at Vegas on Friday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVAS). The Wild are 3-0 in Game 7s, and the Golden Knights are 1-1. 

"We believe in ourselves. We believe in our team," Vegas captain Mark Stone said. "We have one game in our home rink to move on. It's that simple." 

Ryan Hartman gave the Wild a 1-0 lead with a one-timer on a 2-on-1 at 4:21 of the third period.

"It's an elimination game, and those type of games are just a game of mistakes," Hartman said. "It's who's going to budge first. You've got two teams, one fighting for their lives more than the other, but they're playing just as hard. They don't want to have to play another game and we're fighting for our lives. Like I said, a game of mistakes, and when you get your opportunities, you have to put it in the net." 

Video: VGK@MIN, Gm6: Hartman opens the scoring in the 3rd 

Vegas forward Chandler Stephenson had a goal disallowed at 8:55 because of goaltender interference. DeBoer challenged the play, but the call on the ice was upheld after video review, and the Golden Knights were assessed a delay of game penalty. 

The Wild had a similar goal disallowed in a 4-0 loss in Game 4.

"No effort to get out of the crease," DeBoer said. "You're splitting hairs. I mean, listen, those have gone our way before. We felt it was worth the challenge." 

Fiala scored on the power play to make it 2-0 at 9:35.

Nick Bjugstad extended the lead to 3-0 at 15:17, scoring with his backhand on a breakaway after Fleury missed with a poke check.

"I think the players deserve a lot of credit for just believing, and believing in each other, and I think that's been the key not just in the playoffs, it's been the key from Day One with this group," Wild coach Dean Evason said. "They've played hard for each other, they've stuck together, and tonight was no different."

NOTES: Vegas played without defenseman Brayden McNabb (COVID-19 protocol) and forward Ryan Reaves, who was a late scratch. DeBoer said he hoped to have an update on Reaves on Thursday. … Golden Knights forward Cody Glass made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut and had two shots and two hits in 12:59 of ice time. … Wild forward Zach Parise had an assist and has two points (one goal, one assist) in his past two games after being a healthy scratch the first three games of the series. … DeBoer is 5-0 in Game 7s.

Video: Talbot records 23 save shutout, Wild force a Game 7

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