Boston, MA – The visiting Minnesota Wild held on for a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in front of 18,750 at TD Garden on Thursday night. The game was a slow, physical, special teams game, and the Wild took advantage of the calls when they went their way.
Back-to-back five-on-threes were the story of the first period. First, the Wild had Matt Dumba and Kevin Fiala sent to the penalty box at 4:36. For Dumba, it was a Hooking penalty and Fiala a Slashing call.
Taylor Hall put the Bruins ahead at 6:35 with a slapshot from the right face-off dot that beat Kaapo Kahkonen through the legs. Erik Haula and Mike Reilly assisted on Hall’s goal power-play goal. It was Hall’s seventh goal of the year.
The Wild had their five-on-three chance at 14:49 when Brad Marchand was sent off for Holding as Brandon Carlo joined him for Interference.
Kirill Kaprizov evened the score at 15:25 with a power-play goal of his own from the opposite face-off dot as Hall. Kaprizov blasted Mats Zuccarello‘s cross-ice feed past Jeremy Swayman for his 14th goal of the year and his 40th point.
Just over a minute later, the Wild took the 2-1 lead on a power-play goal by Nico Strum. Sturm tipped a Jonas Brodin shot from the blueline past Swayman for his sixth goal of the year.
Bruins forward Trent Frederic caught Kaprizov with a hit to the head as he was falling in the second period. Dmitry Kulikov took exception to the collision and jumped Frederic. The Bruins forward pummeled the Wild player for his troubles. Kaprizov went to the locker room after the hit and did not return.
The Bruins killed off the penalty to Frederic, which was a Boarding call served by Craig Smith. However, the Wild capitalized just after the power play expired. Matt Boldy, a Massachusetts native and former Boston College star, blasted a shot past Swayman at 12:26 for his first career NHL goal. It was Boldy’s debut with the Wild.
Marchand pulled one back at 15:35 with Wild defenseman Dumba off for Interference. Kahkonen stopped a Matt Grzelcyk slapshot from the blueline, but Patrice Bergeron quickly fired the rebound to Marchand at the bottom of the right circle to notch his team-leading 12th goal.
Frederic had to throw down again in the third, but this time with Marcus Foligno. Once again, Boston came away with the extra two minutes in the box. This time for a High-Sticking call.
The Bruins had a push in the third period, especially after David Pastrnak reunited with Marchand and Bergeron, but Kahkonen was solid in goal for the Wild. The 6′-2″ Finn ended with 36 saves on 38 shots to help the Wild snap their five-game losing streak. It also snapped Boston’s three-game winning streak.
“We needed this win,” Wild forward Zuccarello said. “It was a tough stretch for us there. It was a good relief when we got this win.”
“I was looking for a goal,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy when asked about switching back to the Pastrnak, Marchand, and Bergeron line. “I think (Craig Smith) got lost a little bit with all the penalties…He was sitting a lot, so I don’t think he had his legs. Bergy and March were playing with Pasta on the first unit (power-play), so he was just into it a little more. A minor switch.”
The Wild hosts the Washington Capitals on Saturday while the Bruins travel to Tampa to face the Lightning.