BOSTON (AP)Kirill Kaprizov scored in his fourth straight game, Matt Boldy got a goal in his NHL debut and the Minnesota Wild snapped a five-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Boldy, who played at Boston College last season and grew up about 20 miles southwest of Boston in Millis, Massachusetts, put Minnesota up 3-1 with a goal 12:26 into the second period, and the Wild hung on for their first win since Dec. 9, over the San Jose Sharks. The Wild had five games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols since that victory.
Nico Sturm also scored for Minnesota and Kaapo Kahkonen had 36 saves for the Wild, who lost Kaprizov midway through the second period after he was hit from behind.
”He’s a huge part of our team. Any time a teammate goes down it’s not good, but I think that what was great was the response,” Kahkonen said. ”Everybody just came together even more after that.”
Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins, whose three-game winning streak was halted. Jeremy Swayman finished with 27 saves.
Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said the Bruins responded poorly when the game got chippy and penalties started to accumulate. The Bruins were called for 11 of the 19 penalties in the game.
”It’s just one of those games. There was zero flow,” Cassidy said. ”Lot of calls, lot of infractions, so you’re leaning on your special-teams players.”
Minnesota had been 0-4-1 since beating San Jose 5-2 in early December. The Wild had allowed 22 goals in their previous four games, including a 6-4 loss to St. Louis on Saturday in the Winter Classic.
Although the Wild allowed Boston 38 shots on goal, Minnesota’s defense kept most to the outside and Kahkonen was strong on the difficult shots he faced, including two from just in front of the crease in the final seconds after the Bruins pulled Swayman for an extra skater.
”From our goalie out, we played a hard game. We played a heavy game. We played an intelligent game,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. ”We did the right things tonight to put ourselves in a position to get the win at the end of the night. That’s what we’re most proud of.”
Boldy, recalled from the taxi squad from Iowa of the AHL on Tuesday, scored on a give-and-go with Marcus Foligno in front of Boston’s net. Boldy passed the puck to Foligno, who sent it right back for a wrist shot Boldy sent past Swayman.
Boldy had a group of friends and family in attendance and the cheers carried throughout the subdued arena with the Bruins down 3-1.
Minnesota capitalized on a double power-play after Marchand was called for holding and Brandon Carlo went off for interference at 14:49 of the second period. Kaprizov one-timed a crossing pass from Mats Zuccarello at 15:25 of the second, and the Wild took a 2-1 lead when Sturm tipped in a slap shot by Jonas Brodin 1:12 later.
Marchand scored off a backhanded pass from Patrice Bergeron with 4:25 left in the second period to pull Boston within 3-2.
Kaprizov didn’t return after the hit from behind by Trent Frederic, which Evason described as ”predatorial.” Evason said he was still waiting to hear how severely Kaprizov was injured.
”He’s as tough and gritty as you get, right? And he doesn’t come back in that hockey game. It doesn’t look good,” Evason said.
Frederic was called for boarding and unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, plus five minutes for fighting Dmitri Kulikov, who went right after Frederic after the hit on Kaprizov. The rather one-sided fight ended with Frederic landing several unanswered blows, but Kulikov said he was glad to stand up for his teammate.
”Kirill was in a vulnerable position and he still went for a hit. You don’t want to see your teammate go down like that,” Kulikov said.
The Bruins signed goalkeeper Tuukka Rask to a professional tryout contract Thursday. Rask is attempting to return from offseason labrum surgery on his hip. Rask, currently a free agent, has spent 14 seasons with the Bruins and is the franchise leader in wins. Rask was supposed to play for Providence this weekend, but the AHL postponed two games against Lehigh Valley because of COVID-19 protocols.
Rask has been working out at the Bruins’ training facility for more than two months and said he expects to be ready after just a game or two in the minors. Providence is scheduled to host Hartford on Jan. 14.
NOTES: The Bruins announced that former player Willie O’Ree has opted to participate virtually for his upcoming number retirement ceremony. O’Ree, who broke the NHL’s color barrier on Jan. 18, 1958, was slated to attend when the Bruins retired his number prior to Boston’s Jan. 18 game against Carolina. . Boston D Charlie McAvoy was out with a lower body injury. . The Bruins were without forwards Karson Kuhlman, Jake DeBrusk and Tomas Nosek on the COVID protocol list. . Minnesota captain Jared Spurgeon (lower-body injury) missed his third straight game.
Wild: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Bruins: Visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.
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