FINAL: Minnesota Wild 2, Vancouver Canucks 1
Entering the game against the Canucks the Wild had 74 points, good for 2nd place in the NHL’s Central Division, but only two points ahead of the 2nd Western Conference wild card spot.
The good news for Minnesota: They started the night seven points ahead of the top non-playoff team, the Calgary Flames.
The great news for Minnesota: With the victory the Wild moved nine points ahead of the Flames, who lost Thursday night 2-1 at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
So this was a big game in Vancouver for the visitors. They couldn’t afford to give up two points to a Canucks club somewhere in the midst of a re-tool or a re-build or a re-configuration.
It took Minnesota :44-seconds to get on the board first. That’s when Kirill Kaprizov tucked home a slap-pass next to the left post after being left alone. He’d score again in the second period, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead on a breakaway, when he banged home his own rebound after Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko made the initial save.
There’s your hockey game: Kaprizov 2, Canucks 1.
Canucks Goal Scorer:
1-1 Tie – Power Play – Brock Boeser (12) from Vitali Kravtsov and Conor Garland, 14:03
Boeser ripped a one-timer high glove from the left wing circle on Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
— Vancouver has committed four puck-over-the-glass delay-of-game infractions over their last two matches. Elias Pettersson and Tyler Myers were the guilty parties on Thursday.
— The Wild outshot the Canucks 36-22. Power plays: Minnesota 0-for-4, Vancouver 1-for-3.
— Vancouver stayed at 53 points, which is seven better than the NHL worst 46 held by the Columbus Blue Jackets. As it relates to NHL Draft Lottery odds, the Canucks would presently have the sixth best odds at landing Connor Bedard. That would give them a 7.5% chance of landing the magic ping pong ball.
Vancouver continues its six-game homestand on Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Maple Leafs.