NHL: Coyle’s third-period goal sends Wild past Golden Knights 4-2
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights’ home arena has a reputation among some NHL players as being one of the toughest to play in and loudest in the league.
The Minnesota Wild don’t mind it a bit.
Charlie Coyle scored his second game-winning goal of the season with 5:31 remaining Monday to lift the Wild past the Golden Knights 4-2.
Minnesota, which is 4-0-1 against the Golden Knights since they entered the league, is 2-0-0 in Vegas.
“It’s a huge win obviously. You get into the later part of the season, so make sure you get every point you can, especially those (close) games,” Coyle said. “It’s a pretty good show here, it’s cool to watch, it’s cool to be part of — we love playing here.”
With the puck loose in front of the net, Jared Spurgeon sent a perfect pass to Coyle, who beat Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a high shot that put the Wild in front.
Marcos Foligno, Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu also scored for the Wild. Devan Dubnyk, who has stopped 64 of 67 shots in his last three games, made 30 saves to improve to 3-0-1 against Vegas.
Dubnyk said he was pleased to see faithful Wild fans among the announced crowd of 18,328, and that hearing chants of “Doob! Doob!” after several big saves ignited his play down the stretch.
“This is only our second time here, the atmosphere in the building is incredible,” Dubnyk said. “It’s cool, we get a pretty good following in certain buildings, Colorado will be another one, there’s lots of people from Minnesota that travel there. It makes playing on the road a little more exciting because you got fans cheering. It definitely makes it a lot more entertaining.”
Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights, while Fleury made 18 saves.
Vegas, which remained in third place in the Pacific Division behind first-place Calgary and San Jose, came into the game after an emotional 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. But coach Gerard Gallant rebuked the notion his team came in flat after its up-tempo game with the Penguins.
“They scored three goals from the blue paint basically and Flower played an outstanding game when he had to make saves, but he’s not gonna stop them when guys are leaving them wide open in the back door,” Gallant said. “I don’t think we played good today, I don’t think we showed up ready to play a team that was aggressive for points. I don’t think we played hard enough.”