Fiala has goal, 2 assists, as Wild beat Golden Knights 4-0
By Dave Campbell
AP Sports Writer
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kevin Fiala kept up his recent surge for Minnesota with a goal and two assists, and the Wild matched their season high with three power-play scores on the way to a 4-0 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
Joel Eriksson Ek, Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise scored with the man advantage, giving the Wild an NHL-leading 15 power-play goals in 33 opportunities over their last 11 games. Parise has six during that span, also the most in the league. The majority of those contests have been at home, where Minnesota has the third-best power-play conversion rate in the NHL (27 for 93) at 29%.
Alex Stalock stopped 26 shots for his third shutout of the season, making him 12-5-3 in his last 20 decisions as he keeps pushing to become the team’s top goalie. The Golden Knights had 12 goals in their previous two games.
Marc-Andre Fleury, making his 10th start in the Vegas net in the last 11 games, was pulled by coach Peter DeBoer after making 16 saves through two periods. Malcolm Subban relieved him.
The Wild had the Golden Knights on their heels from the start, going on their first power play just 3:37 into the game. Eric Staal’s shot glanced off the right post and rolled along the goal line behind Fleury before Brayden McNabb knocked it away. The crowd roared as if the puck had crossed over, but no replay review was initiated. Unfazed, the Wild took the lead with seven seconds remaining on the man advantage when Eriksson Ek knocked in his first career power-play goal.
Spurgeon scored about seven minutes later, swooping in for a rebound of a shot by Fiala that he first snagged before losing control of the puck.
The 23-year-old Fiala, who tied Mats Zuccarello and the just-traded Jason Zucker for third on the team with 14 goals this season, matched his career high with three points.
Zucker was dealt on Monday to Pittsburgh for left wing Alex Galchenyuk, a prospect and a draft pick, but the Wild didn’t flinch and won for the seventh time in their last 10 games. The Golden Knights entered the night in control of third place in the Pacific Division, but they’re now just four points ahead of Wild, who have played two fewer games than them in the crowded Western Conference playoff race.