Wild can’t stay out of penalty box in 2-1 shootout loss to Panthers
Filip Gustavsson helped the Wild steal a point they probably didn’t deserve
ST. PAUL — They say the goaltender is the best penalty killer and that proved to be the case for the Minnesota Wild on Monday night at Xcel Energy Center.
On a night they couldn’t stay out of the penalty box, which has been a recurring problem this season, their penalty kill rose to the occasion.
More specifically, Filip Gustavsson rose to the occasion. He finished with 33 saves to help the Wild steal a point they probably didn’t deserve in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers. In total, the Wild finished a perfect 7 for 7 on the penalty kill.
There wasn’t much flow in the first period as the Wild struggled to stay out of the penalty box. Not ideal for a team that’s been struggling to score as of late.
On the other end, the Panthers took a couple of penalties, as well, though that didn’t stop them from peppering Filip Gustavsson with shots.
Needless to say, if it wasn’t for Gustavsson, the Wild almost certainly would’ve trailed early in the game. He faced 18 shots in the first period and made 18 saves to keep the game scoreless.
That changed early in the second period as Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen beat Gustavsson with a redirection to make it 1-0.
The response came courtesy of Kirill Kaprizov. No surprise. He put together arguably his best shift of the night with the Wild trailing and finished it with a rising shot that tied the game at 1-1.
Though the Wild managed to claw their way back in the game their chances took a hit midway through the second period when Marcus Foligno went down with a lower-body injury. He appeared to take a puck off the knee and left the ice unable to put any weight on his left leg.
Credit the Wild for battling through the adversity. They managed to compose themselves despite being down a player and put together a solid effort for the rest of the frame.
The parade to the penalty box continued in the third period, and because of that, the Wild couldn’t get anything going in the offensive zone. Luckily, the penalty kill stepped up time and time again to force overtime and the ensuing shootout.
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