LAS VEGAS -- The Minnesota Wild came to the desert and got their just desserts.
After falling behind early to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, Minnesota did not waver and instead stormed back to take down the defending Western Conference champions 4-2 at T-Mobile Arena.
The Knights had lost only four times in regulation in 23 home games. They took a 1-0 lead just 3:37 into the game. But the Wild scored three of the next four goals to win for fifth time in seven road games.
Charlie Coyle’s rebound goal with 5 minutes, 31 seconds remaining was the game-winner. That came moments after the Wild survived a harrowing 5-on-3 penalty kill, making a series of big blocks and clears as the Knights enjoyed a two-man advantage for 1:12.
Devan Dubnyk stood tall, making 30 saves for the victory.
Marcus Foligno and Eric Staal also scored for the Wild, who improved to 4-0 all time against Vegas.
Mikko Koivu added an empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining, his 200th career goal.
Not much happened in the first period. There were three offensive-zone penalties, including a pair by Minnesota, which paid for it early in the game.
With Mikael Granlund off for hooking, a bad penalty-killing shift change left the Wild outnumbered heading up ice. Former Wild forward Alex Tuch converted a 2-on-1 with Jonathan Marchessault, beating Dubnyk as he slid across.
There were few scoring chances, but Jason Zucker’s was a beauty late in the period. He used several spin moves to create space, and then ripped a shot off the far post. The Wild held a paltry 6-5 shots advantage after 20 minutes.
Suddenly, a hockey game broke out in the second period as the Wild came alive for two quick goals. Tallies by Foligno and Staal 1:13 apart gave them a 2-1 lead.
Foligno was the beneficiary of yeoman’s work behind the net by Jonathan Eriksson Ek, who fed Foligno charging the net. He buried the chance for his fourth goal of the season and third point in the past five games.
The Wild kept coming at the Knights. Jordan Greenway bulled his way through the Vegas zone and stickhandled behind the net, flying around for a wraparound chance that wound up on Staal’s stick near the far post. Bang-bang and Minnesota was out in front.
It was Staal’s 15th of the season. Ryan Suter earned his 26th assist.
But the lead lasted barely two minutes before Matt Pacioretty evened the game 2-2. Paul Stastny fed him for a one-timer in the slot that beat Dubnyk and set the stage for the defining third period.