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game recap

Wild rally to defeat Golden Knights

Score three times in third period, Staal has two

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild scored three third-period goals in a 4-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Eric Staal got a loose puck in front of an open net to make it 3-2 at 12:05 of the third period, then scored an empty-net goal with five seconds remaining. Staal leads Minnesota (12-10-3) with 23 points in 25 games and has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in the past 13.

"I think any successful team has everybody on the ice playing the right way and playing the same way," Staal said. "I think collectively the last two games we haven't done a good enough job of reloading hard and then making the right decisions through the neutral zone. … Tonight I thought we did a lot better job of that, and because of that it was nice to be rewarded with some goals and a win."

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Wild highlights]

 

Three goals were scored in a 2:45 span of the third. Golden Knights forward Brayden McNabb scored his first of the season to tie the game 1-1 at 2:42. Jonathan Marchessault gave Vegas a 2-1 lead 1:57 later with a wrist shot off a drop pass from William Karlsson. Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin tied it 2-2 at 5:27.

Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly fed Mikael Granlund across the ice with a no-look pass for a one-timer and a 1-0 lead at 17:01 of the second period.

Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for the Wild, who are 4-0-1 in the past five home games.

Video: VGK@MIN: Dubnyk goes post-to-post to rob Leipsic

"I think we could do better, but I liked what I saw much better than the previous two games," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We understand that we're not going to win a lot of 6-5 games, so we have to win the 4-2, the 3-1, the 2-1 kind of games. And if we play the right way, I thought for especially the first two periods, I thought we played the right way and we had a 1-0 lead."

Malcolm Subban made 28 saves in his fourth straight start for the Golden Knights (15-8-1), who lost a second consecutive game. They were defeated 3-0 by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

"There's nothing you could do on those goals," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "[Subban] made some great saves for us and kept us in that hockey game. I thought he played a great game. He's getting confident every time he plays so that's good for our club."

Video: VGK@MIN: McNabb blasts home blistering slap shot

Golden Knights defenseman Luca Sbisa returned after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. He had two hits and blocked two shots in 19:08.

"Honestly, I felt pretty good," Sbisa said. "In the first [period] my legs and my lungs felt terrible but I knew if I kept going it's going to get better, and I think in the second I felt pretty good. … Overall, I felt pretty good so the injury held up. I'm pretty happy with my first game back."

 

Goal of the game

Staal's goal at 12:05 of the third period.

Video: VGK@MIN: Staal scores off deflected shot for the lead

 

Save of the game

Dubnyk's save on Colin Miller with 1:05 remaining in the third period.

Video: VGK@MIN: Dubnyk robs Miller with superb paddle save

 

Highlight of the game 

Granlund's goal at 17:01 of the second period.

Video: VGK@MIN: Granlund hammers home Reilly's feed

 

They said it

"You got to be able to play 60 minutes. In this league, if you take even one shift off it's going to cost you most nights, and I'm not saying we took a shift off [but] if you have the lead in third you got to find a way to win no matter what. Good teams do that, and tonight we didn't, but luckily we play another game tomorrow and we can redeem ourselves." -- Golden Knights defenseman Luca Sbisa

 

"I think we're aware as a group where we're at. We're aware as a group what went on the last two games. The important thing is the response. The important thing is to come out and play the way we know we're capable of, and we did that I thought for the most part all night tonight. Being smart through the middle of the ice, defending hard, being hard to play against, really doing our best to make the right decisions. We know what's going to make us successful. We got to make sure we bring that and find that every game." -- Wild forward Eric Staal

 

Need to know

Marchessault has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the past five games. … Karlsson has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in the past seven games and leads Vegas with 13 goals and 23 points. … Granlund has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in the past nine games. … Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon is expected to miss at least two weeks with a groin injury.

 

What's next

Wild: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Golden Knights: At the Winnipeg Jets on Friday (8 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, TSN-3, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Wild stage late rally, top Golden Knights 3-2

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