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Postgame Hat Trick: Golden Knights 5, Wild 1

Vegas pulls away in the third period as Minnesota's points streak is snapped at seven games

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-1 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday night:

1. Third-period rally comes up short.

Trailing by a goal entering the final frame, Minnesota did everything it could to find the equalizer. And it nearly did, on several occasions. 

Over the first 15 minutes of the period, the Wild piled up 18 shots on goal. It just couldn't solve Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

With the Wild pushing all of its chips in the middle in search of the equalizer, of course Vegas would finally get an odd-man rush the other way. And of course, on its first real scoring chance of the period, Mark Stone finished off a 2-on-1 rush to make it a 3-1 hockey game.

Five minutes later Chandler Stephenson would score off yet another 2-on-1 rush to make it 4-1 and an empty-net goal made it 5-1 shortly after that.

Make no mistake, this wasn't your garden variety 5-1 butt whipping. But the Golden Knights proved again why they are one of the very best teams in the NHL.

Minnesota saw its seven game points streak come to an end with its first regulation loss since a 4-0 defeat in Los Angeles 15 days ago. 
 

2. Marcus Foligno must love Las Vegas.

Two nights after scoring two goals and assisting on another, the Wild's rangy winger - playing with two new linemates - scored another goal on Wednesday night. 

Video: MIN@VGK: Foligno jumps on loose puck and scores

Not known for his offensive prowess, Foligno is building on the fantastic season he had last season and now has seven goals in 18 games this year. He's just six off his career high of 13 that took him 80 games to accomplish in 2016-17, and if he keeps scoring at this pace, he should certainly approach that number, even in a 56-game shortened season. 

Foligno has also become a go-to member of the club in all situations. He's been a top penalty killer for a couple of seasons now, and on Wednesday, he even saw some time on the power play. 

And his offensive success hasn't hindered his defensive play at all. He entered the game on Wednesday a plus-10, which is already better than any number he's posted in his NHL career. 


3. Can't blame the goalie.

Even in a game where Cam Talbot surrendered five goals in an overtime loss on Monday, he played a fantastic game. There was nothing he could do on at least four of Vegas' goals in that game, and the coaching staff took notice, putting him back in net on Wednesday for his first consecutive starts in a month.

Video: MIN@VGK: Talbot shuts down Pacioretty in front

Well, Talbot answered by playing another outstanding game, keeping Minnesota in the game throughout, but especially early in the game when the Golden Knights came out of the dressing room rolling early on.

Vegas goals in the third period came on a pair of 2-on-1s and with Talbot on the bench for the extra attacker.  

Talbot finished the game with 23 saves. 

Credit where credit is due on the other side too, as Fleury answered what was a rather tough outing (by his standards) on Monday by making a number of huge saves, including a couple biggies in the final seconds of the first period as Minnesota got its legs. He finished with 36 stops on 37 shots faced.

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