The Wild received home-ice benefit for the primary spherical of the playoffs however misplaced a key participant.
Marcus Foligno left injured after getting kneed by the Avalanche’s Kurtis MacDermid, an ominous exit that loomed over an edgy regular-season finale that the Wild received 4-1 on Friday in entrance of an introduced 19,261 at Xcel Vitality Heart to place an exclamation level on the actual fact it can host Recreation 1 in opposition to the Blues.
A St. Louis loss minutes earlier had already clinched that for the Wild, which locked up second place within the Central Division with a franchise-record 113 factors.
“We wanted to take care of it ourselves,” captain Jared Spurgeon stated.
The primary spherical playoff sequence begins Monday at 8:30 p.m. on the X. What the staff’s lineup appears like for that opener is to be decided.
Foligno was damage 5 minutes, 28 seconds into the primary interval when he was clipped by MacDermid, a collision that spun Foligno to the ice. He was finally helped up and escorted down the tunnel from the bench. The Wild later introduced Foligno would not return due to a lower-body harm.
“It’s an awful thing to happen, especially this time,” coach Dean Evason stated. “Forget about any time. What’s the point of it?”
The plan is for Foligno to get evaluated on Saturday.
“It’s serious enough that one of the toughest guys I’ve ever seen can’t come back and play,” Evason stated.
MacDermid was tossed from the motion, receiving a five-minute main for kneeing and recreation misconduct.
That scenario solely infected an already testy environment.
Earlier within the first interval, Colorado’s Logan O’Connor pushed Dmitry Kulikov into the boards and that led to a prolonged brawl between O’Connor and the Wild’s Brandon Duhaime.
By then, the Wild was already forward by a aim.
Simply 58 seconds after puck drop and on the staff’s second shot, Jordan Greenway took a Foligno go and slipped the puck between Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz and the put up.
That lead doubled at 4:12 when Kirill Kaprizov circled the zone earlier than discovering Tyson Jost within the slot for a one-timer and Jost’s second aim with the Wild since a commerce from Colorado, which was resting a few of its go-to gamers like Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Darcy Kuemper.
“I was just battling in front and kind of knew that if I got open, he was going to find me,” Jost stated.
The remainder of the primary was crammed with penalties; either side mixed for 5 infractions the remainder of the way in which, however neither energy play transformed.
Kaprizov picked up a second level at 3:46 of the second when he poked in a free puck within the crease to complete with 47 targets. Add in his 61 assists, and he racked up a formidable 108 factors to rank fifth within the NHL and change into the Wild’s first top-five scorer.
“He makes everyone around him so much better,” stated Spurgeon, who snagged a career-high thirtieth help on the aim in his first recreation again from an upper-body harm. “Whether it’s his work ethic he has away from the puck or sometimes you see there’s three guys on him and he comes out of the corner with it and makes a play. So he’s done great things for us.”
Matt Dumba was additionally again from an upper-body harm, however the Wild was nonetheless with out Mats Zuccarello (decrease physique).
Marc-Andre Fleury was in internet, and he made 27 stops to enhance to 9-2 since a commerce from the Blackhawks. The one puck that eluded him was a shot by Nazem Kadri at 5:38 of the second interval. Francouz had 18 saves for Colorado, and he was pulled earlier than Greenway scored his second of the sport into an empty internet with 32 seconds left.
This sends the Wild into the playoffs on a 19-2-3 tear, together with a 10-1-2 run over the previous 13 video games. The final time the staff had house ice was its five-game, first-round loss to the Blues in 2017.
“To start here at home with the crowd we’ve had and the energy that’s been in the building is something we’re looking forward to,” Spurgeon stated.