Canadians v. Wild – Match Summary – January 24, 2022

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — — The Minnesota Wild have found a new balance this season.

Goals come from all over the lineup, an all-encompassing vibe that starts in the locker room and continues on the ice.

Connor Dewar scored his first career goal and added an assist when Nico Sturm scored 22 seconds later, helping the Wild tie their franchise record for goals in an 8-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens Monday evening.

Jared Spurgeon, Marcus Foligno, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Boldy, Jordie Benn and Kevin Fiala also scored as Minnesota dominated the NHL’s worst Montreal to facilitate Cam Talbot’s return to net.

“Anyone can play. Everyone works hard. It’s a pretty special team here,” Benn said.

Zuccarello fired a badly angled shot past goaltender Cayden Primeau with 31 seconds left in the second period for a 5-1 lead for the Wild, who are 10-0-1 by a 56-25 margin in his last 11 games at Xcel Energy Centre. Their only regulation loss at home since Nov. 16 was against St. Louis in the Winter Classic at Target Field on Jan. 1.

“It must be an absolutely wonderful environment, because of the people there. We’ve talked about it so many times with their acceptance,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said.

Mike Hoffman gave the Canadians the lead by throwing a pass into the slot in front of Talbot’s glove just 1:23 from the start of the game, but Spurgeon equalized less than two minutes later with an undisputed slap shot for the first goal of the captain since November 11. missed a total of 15 games with two different injuries.

Talbot made 14 saves in two periods for his first win since Dec. 9. Wild also had four games postponed by opposing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Kaapo Kahkonen, who went 5-0-1 during Talbot’s absence, took over for the third period and gave up a goal to former teammate Rem Pitlick. Talbot aggravated the injury, Evason said, but not seriously, and his absence was just a precaution.

Pitlick scored two goals in six games with the Canadiens, who claimed him off waivers from the Wild two weeks ago as he struggled to accept a place in the last six.

The fourth line Pitlick left behind made quite the mark in this game, further proof of the enviable depth the Wild have accumulated under general manager Bill Guerin.

Dewar scored on a shot from the slot that scraped the crossbar. Then he used his stick to route Spurgeon’s pass to Sturm for the tap-in and a 4-1 lead at 4:23 of the second period.

“For us as a line, most nights there’s not a lot of glory in the kind of game we’re playing. It makes us all feel good,” said Sturm, who was delighted with his pal Dewar’s first goal.

Dewar, Sturm and Brandon Duhaime all grew together for Minnesota’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.

“We used to joke about ‘When we’re in the league’, and I thought it was very appropriate that those two were the first to kiss me when I scored. tonight,” said Dewar, a third-round player. draft pick by the Wild in 2018.

The Canadians fell to 8-26-7. They are 1-5-4 in their last 10 games. Primeau, making his 12th career start, was retired after two periods by Michael McNiven, who allowed three goals on seven shots in his NHL debut.

With goaltender Carey Price in drug treatment and Jake Allen sidelined with a lengthy injury, the Canadiens also recently lost Sam Montembault to injury.

“We were losing those 1-on-1 battles too often and we made it too easy for them,” coach Dominique Ducharme said.

BAD BLOOD

The Wild had a 21-8 first-period lead over the exhausted Canadiens, who lost center Christian Dvorak to an unspecified injury on his first shift after a Spurgeon hit.

“I didn’t like the shot. It was just quick, but it looks like he hit him in the head pretty good,” said Canadian right winger Josh Anderson.

KIRILL ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR NOTE

Alex Goligoski, Jordan Greenway, Kirill Kaprizov and Sturm each had two assists. Kaprizov’s assists gave him 100 career points and earned him a hearty ovation from the crowd when he was caught on the videoboard during a stoppage in play.

Kaprizov became the fourth fastest active player in the NHL to reach the milestone, in 92 career games, behind Alex Ovechkin (77), Sidney Crosby (80) and Evgeni Malkin (89).

PLAY NOTES

Fiala and Zuccarello each have at least one point in nine straight games. … Hoffman has 10 goals and eight assists in 20 career games against the Wild. … The Canadiens made their first trip to Minnesota in more than 27 months and lost eight straight road games to the Wild.

FOLLOWING

The Canadiens host Anaheim on Thursday night, their first of eight straight home games.

The Wild will play their first of four straight road games Friday night against the New York Rangers.

——

About Rhonda Lee

Check Also

Exec Farrow of Waukesha County: Waukesha County Focuses on Schools and Crisis Response During National Awareness Week

(Waukesha, Wis.) – This National Prevention Week, Waukesha County leaders announce new efforts to prevent …