Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi finally made their NHL debuts Thursday night, in a highly anticipated game for Wild fans. Boldy recorded his first career goal in the second period, off a give-and-go pass from Marcus Folingo. Rossi on the other hand had a rather quiet night, but still made his share of contributions to the team’s win. Both rookies recorded 10+ minutes of ice time, and multiple shots on net.
The scoring would open early in the first period, from a Taylor Hall one-timer on the power play. Kirill Kaprizov would then retaliate for the Wild by scoring their first goal of the game, which would be almost identical to Hall’s earlier in the period. Just over a minute later, Nico Sturm would score on a Tip-in off of Jonas Brodin’s slap shot from the point, making it 2-1 Wild after one period of play.
Kaprizov would leave the game in the middle of second after taking a bad boarding call from Trent Frederic. It appeared that Kaprizov hit his head at an odd-angle in the boards, and was down for bit after the hit. Matt Boldy would then score his first NHL goal, to make it 3-1 Minnesota. A couple minutes later Brad Marchand would cut the Wild’s lead back to 1, off a snipe from the face off dot. After a quite eventless third period, the Wild would hold on after a late push from the Bruins offense with their goalie pulled. Tallying Minnesota’s 20th win of the season, and snapping their 5 game losing streak.
The discipline issues were a huge factor in the loss after they combined for a total of 28 penalty minutes, including Frederic’s 16. Despite the loss, Boston had more shots, a higher face off percentage, hits, and takeaways. This means it wasn’t necessarily a bad game for the Bruins, but truly means that the Wild are on of the league’s teams to beat.
The addition of Boldy and Rossi into the lineup was very interesting to watch, after a long awaited debut felt much overdue. The Wild also had Connor Dewar, and Calen Addison playing, as they have been dealing with some COVID issues among the team. Head coach Dean Evanson decided to go with the odd-man out 7 defenseman approach, and have 2 extra forwards after the initial 3 lines. The interesting strategy was a success for an impressive Minnesota defensive unit that blocked 10 shots, against one of the better offenses in the NHL.
The Bruins will go down south to play the defending champs in Tampa Bay on Saturday. And will also have a tough stretch of games down the road, which could affect their status in the playoff race as they are currently in the second wild card spot for the Eastern conference.
Minnesota however, shifted into the #3 spot in the Central division, after falling down to the wild card during their losing streak. They host the Capitals on Sunday, and then won’t play until next Friday, because of 2 cancellations with the Oilers and Jets.
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