LAS VEGAS — Cam Talbot made 35 saves, and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in a shootout at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.
Each team was playing the second game of a back to back. Minnesota lost 4-2 at the San Jose Sharks, and Vegas lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings, each on Wednesday.
“Every game is a big game, and when you come into a building like this, you know you’re going to have to go through this team to make it out of our division for the playoffs,” Talbot said. “This is a tough building to play in and this gives us confidence moving forward.”
Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist for Minnesota (22-11-2), which is 4-1-1 in its past six games. The second game of the two-game set will be played here Saturday.
Kevin Fiala scored the only goal in the shootout in the bottom of the second round.
“That was not a fun hockey game. I joke, obviously it was an exciting hockey game,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We made it harder on ourselves in a lot of different situations … but they tried their butts off, including our goaltender, who saved our butts.”
William Karlsson and Brayden McNabb scored for Vegas (24-9-2), which lost consecutive games for the first time since March 8-10 at Minnesota. Robin Lehner made 35 saves.
Vegas played with 16 skaters. Forward Chandler Stephenson served the first of a three-game suspension for elbowing Kings defenseman Tobias Bjornfot on Wednesday.
Forward Ryan Reaves (lower body) missed his second consecutive game, and defenseman Zach Whitecloud (upper body) is day to day.
“I thought we handled it well,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought it was a nonissue. Guys are always looking for a few more minutes every night.”
Karlsson scored for the second consecutive game at 3:29 of the first period to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.
Kaprizov scored for the third time in four games to tie it 1-1 at 7:57.
McNabb ended a 66-game goal drought at 1:39 of the third to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead. He hadn’t scored since Nov. 21, 2019.
“It’s disappointing, for sure,” McNabb said. “You want two points. Their goalie played well. It’s a tough one to swallow. It’s a big deal we got one, and we’ll do it again Saturday.”
Jared Spurgeon tied it 2-2 at 5:31 on a 4-on-3 power play.
“It doesn’t surprise us, Cam saved our bacon again,” Evason said. “We worked hard, we competed, we battled. We cannot continue to put ourselves and our goaltenders in that position. We got our hands full in a couple of days playing these guys again.”Video: MIN@VGK: Spurgeon rips one-timer from circle for PPG
NOTES: Kaprizov (13 goals, 17 assists) became the eighth rookie in the past 10 seasons, and first since Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar in 2019-20, to score his first 30 NHL points in 35 or fewer games. He also became the third rookie in Wild history to score 30 points in a season (Marian Gaborik, 18-18-36, 2000-01, Filip Kuba, 9-21-30, 2000-01). … The Wild have won three straight against the Golden Knights after losing the first two at T-Mobile Arena on March 1-3. … This is the first time Vegas has lost consecutive games at home under DeBoer, who was hired on Jan. 15, 2020. … Wild forward Mats Zuccarello played his 600th NHL game.