Boldy's hat trick powers Wild to a 7-4 win over Red Wings
By BRIAN HALL
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Rookie Matt Boldy had his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 7-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night.
Kirill Kaprizov had two goals, Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman also scored, and Mats Zuccarello added three assists for Minnesota, which rallied from a two-goal deficit early in the first period. The Wild are 11-1-1 since Jan. 6 and have won six in a row at home.
Kaapo Kahkonen made 30 saves for Minnesota.
The spotlight was once again on the 20-year-old Boldy, who has made quite an impact through 13 career games by posting seven goals and six assists.
"It was awesome," Boldy said. "It was obviously nice to get the goals, but I think just the reaction from the fans and everyone, teammates and stuff. It was really special, for sure."
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring for Detroit with his 25th of the season, and Gustav Lindstrom tallied his first career goal to give the Red Wings the early advantage. Rookie Lucas Raymond and Sam Gagner also scored for Detroit, which closed within a goal with 1:46 remaining.
Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 18 shots in goal for the Red Wings, who had won three of four.
"I think it was a game we could have won," Larkin said. "I'm shaking my head right now. It's not a good feeling. We understand the position we're in. We know we're not going to win every game, but I really felt it was a game we could have won tonight."
Detroit attacked quickly with Larkin scoring 1:27 into the game. It was his 11th game-opening goal of the season, which leads the NHL, and he has five goals and seven assists in a six-game point streak.
Lindstrom scored for the first time in 69 career games, flipping a puck from the blue line past a screened Kakhonen to make it 2-0 four minutes in. The Red Wings scored on two of their first three shots.
"I thought the game early was real loose," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "Certainly, there was a lot of chances flying around both ways without teams necessarily having to earn it. They were able to get to their game better than we were as the game went along."
After the Red Wings' two goals, Boldy took control.
The 2019 first-round draft pick scored twice in the span of 2:05 to tie the game midway through the first. For his first goal, he spun away from a defender into the middle of the ice and lifted a shot past Nedeljkovic. His second goal was a deflection from the middle on the power play.
Boldy finished the hat trick late in the second with another power-play goal. It was the 33rd hat trick in team history, the third this season and the fourth by a rookie.
"I think his game speaks for itself," said Wild forward Jordan Greenway, who Boldy is living with. "He's been great, he's been having obviously a huge impact for us. He's exceeded his expectations for sure."
Boldy, the 6-foot-2 forward, made his professional debut last season after playing at Boston College and starring in the World Junior championships with seven points in seven games to lead the U.S. to the gold medal.
"It's crazy, for sure, definitely a big change and stuff like that," Boldy said. "You definitely soak it in as much as you can, but you don't want to take too much of it, I guess. Just kind of build off each night and, obviously, this is a big night for me."
ON A ROLL
Kaprizov, Minnesota's rookie headliner from last season, gave the Wild the lead early in the second with a one-timer on a pass from Zuccarello.
Kaprizov has 22 goals this season and has 12 goals and 12 assists in his last 15 games. Zuccarello, his linemate, has six goals and 18 assists in the same span.
Detroit had brothers Gemel and Givani Smith in the lineup for the first time. They became the first set of brothers to play for the franchise since Frank and Peter Mahovlich in 1969.
The Smiths also became the fourth set of brothers to play on the same team this season. Chicago's Caleb and Seth Jones, Seattle's Haydn and Cale Fleury and Tampa Bay's Darren and Taylor Raddysh are the others.
Both teams received unfortunate injury news before the game.
Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was scratched with a lower-body injury, and the team recalled Dakota Mermis from the American Hockey League.
Detroit C Vladislav Namestnikov was held out with an undisclosed injury.
Red Wings: Face the Rangers in New York on Thursday.
Wild: Play at Winnipeg on Wednesday.
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Updated February 15, 2022