LAS VEGAS — Joel Eriksson Ek scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period, Cam Talbot made 27 saves and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 Saturday night.
The Wild became the first team to sweep a two-game series in Las Vegas this season. The Golden Knights (0-2-1) are mired in their first three-game skid of the season.
Kirill Kaprizov provided the equalizer in the third period, tying the game when Eriksson Ek delivered a beautiful pass through traffic to the backdoor where the rookie was perfectly positioned for his 14th goal of the season. Then, 55 seconds later, Eriksson Ek gave Minnesota the lead when he banged home his own rebound through Marc-Andre Fleury’s pads.
Talbot was spectacular once again against Vegas, which was 0 for 3 on the power play. Talbot came in as one of the hottest goaltenders in the league since March 12, sporting a 6-1-1 mark with a 1.72 goals-against average and .948 save percentage.
Fleury, who has had his problems with Minnesota during his career and dropped to 6-13-0 against the Wild, has lost four of his last five after struggling with his rebound control all game. It finally caught up with him in the third period.
Fleury stopped 25 shots. Tomas Nosek scored the lone goal for Vegas.
Nosek’s goal was fortuitous after the puck took a hard bounce off the boards, and teammate Nic Roy played the decoy in skating by rather than gathering it. Minnesota’s Ryan Suter and Marcus Johansson followed, as the puck went straight to Nosek, who backhanded it past everybody for his fifth goal of the season.
Nosek has registered at least one point in eight of his last 10 games, having scored three goals and assisting on six others.
The Golden Knights, who were 15-0-0 when leading after the second period, had won 23 straight in that situation dating to last season. It is the first time Vegas has lost three straight since Peter DeBoer took over as coach on Jan. 15, 2020.
Minnesota: Returns home to start a two-game series vs. Colorado on Monday.
Vegas: Opens a two-game set in St. Louis on Monday.
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W.G. Ramirez, The Associated Press