|3:00 PM PT4:00 PM MT5:00 PM CT6:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)18:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 21, 2019
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada Attendance: 18,328
Urgency shows as Wild take on Golden Knights
The Minnesota Wild will start a two-game western road trip before the All-Star break and bye week, battling for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Coach Bruce Boudreau said that even though the season is barely past the half-way mark, his team can't afford to get caught looking ahead to its eight-day break.
After taking on the defending Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights on Monday afternoon, the Wild play at Colorado on Wednesday.
"There's so many teams that are hitting that sense of urgency right now, which is a lot earlier than normal," Boudreau said following his team's 2-1 victory over Columbus on Saturday night.
"You can just look at the out-of-town scores. All the teams that lost that are close together, they won (Saturday) against great teams. The sense of urgency is there. I've got to believe it's going to be quite a race from here on in."
Minnesota (24-21-3) showed some of that urgency by bouncing back Saturday for a 2-1 win over a Columbus team that is tied for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Wild had lost three of four games.
All-Star goalie Devan Dubnyk, yanked after giving up five goals on 20 shots in a 7-4 loss to Philadelphia last Monday night, had 19 saves in the win over the Blue Jackets. He has stopped 34 of 35 shots since giving way to backup Alex Stalock at the end of the game against the Flyers and also sitting out Tuesday night's 3-2 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Dubnyk, who had a stretch of 16 starts in 17 games, returned to the goal in the first period of Thursday's 3-0 home loss to Anaheim after Stalock allowed three goals on eight shots. He appeared to be back in All-Star form on Saturday night when he outdueled two-time Vezina Award winner Sergei Bobrovsky.
"I thought he needed a little rest quite frankly," Boudreau said. "I thought he definitely looks refreshed. Hopefully he's ready to go in Vegas."
Dubnyk is 18-16-3 with a 2.60 goals-against in 39 games. That is still four games less than 34-year-old Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who picked up his league-leading 27th victory in Saturday night's wild 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury finished with 34 saves, including one on a breakaway by Sidney Crosby.
"Yeah, it was fun," said Fleury, who also leads the league in shutouts (six). "I wish it wasn't three goals, (allowed) but the game was exciting on both sides and our guys played a great game. We defended well and got some big goals."
Fleury also got his second assist of the season and 17th in his career on Jonathan Marchessault's empty-netter with 21 seconds remaining. That capped Marchessault's second career hat trick and a game-ending four-goal run by the Golden Knights.
"It was a wide-open game. It was a game back in the '80s for me," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "There were a lot of odd-man rushes both ways. ... Fleury had to play a great game to keep them at three goals."
Vegas, which is 16-4-3 at home, won the first meeting between the teams on Oct. 6 in St. Paul in a shootout, 2-1, despite 41 saves by Dubnyk. Erik Haula scored in the third round to win it for the Golden Knights. Fleury had 29 saves and stopped all three shootout attempts.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 20, 2019