The B’s never really had a commanding pace, as they found themselves shorthanded eight times during the contest to the Wild’s five penalty kills.
Four of the five goals scored in the game were on the power play, but the go-ahead and eventual game-winner for the Wild came on an even-strength goal from Matt Boldy. His tally was his first career goal in his first NHL game.
The game was riddled with penalties from the start and defined the first period.
Both teams had their shot at a 5-on-3 in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins’ two man-advantage dwindled into a 4-on-3 with a Patrice Bergeron penalty, but special teams got to work and Taylor Hall put the Bruins up on the power play.
But the Wild capitalized on their 5-on-3 towards the end of the first period and Kirill Kaprizov tied the game.
With Brad Marchand out of the box, the Bruins almost killed off the remaining time on Brandon Carlo’s penalty. With a second to go, the Wild potted another power-play goal - from Nico Sturm - to take the 2-1 lead.
The Bruins found themselves shorthanded yet again to end the period on a matching roughing call between Anton Blidh and Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov with Trent Frederic also being called for unsportsmanlike conduct at the same time.
The second period saw more of the same, as the game became surprisingly chipping between two teams that aren’t known to have bad blood. Frederic drew his first of two fighting majors during the second (the other coming midway through the third). Both times he was given two additional minutes to put the Bruins on the PK.
As penalties overtook the middle frame as well, the Bruins really never got in a solid rhythm and chased the play.
But the B’s did have some chances and built off nice rushes and neutral-zone transitions. The Wild’s forechecking game, however, kept the Bruins from more quality shots.
The Wild took a two-goal lead off the eventual game-winner from Matt Boldy in his NHL debut.
Brad Marchand gave the Bruins a fighting shot with a power-play goal to end the period and made the score 3-2.
Things slowed down overall in the special teams’ department for both sides in the third period after Frederic’s fighting major.
The Bruins had better looks and battled in the final frame to establish more of a flow. Despite a surge of offense in the final minutes, and one last play with Craig Smith as time was expiring, the B’s fell just short and couldn’t recover from a substantial lack of 5v5 play against the Wild.
Final score: 3-2 Wild.
The Bruins will hit the road for two games, with the first on Saturday January 8 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 pm.
Here’s a look at the goals by period:
The Bruins opened the scoring at 6:35 of the first period on the power play.
On a 4-on-3, Mike Reilly found Hall in the right-wing circle where he sent a one-timer through Kaapo Kahkonen’s five-hole. 1-0 Bruins.
Taylor Hall fires one home on the power play.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 7, 2022
The Wild tied the game at 15:25 of the first period with a power-play goal.
On a 5-on-3, Mats Zuccarello found Kaprizov inside the right-wing circle for a one-timer past Jeremy Swayman’s glove. 1-1 game.
KIRILL. A cross-ice feed from Zucc on the 5-on-3 and we're all tied up. 1-1. pic.twitter.com/6qmSRS1oFo— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) January 7, 2022
The Wild took the lead at 16:48 of the first period with their second power-play goal.
Off a face-off win, Jonas Brodin fired a long shot from the left point. Through traffic, Sturm tipped the puck past Swayman’s glove and top-shelf. 2-1 Wild.
An absolute RIP from Brodin puts the Wild up 2-1. MY GOD. Possible tip in front from Sturm. pic.twitter.com/mASfpnEqMH— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) January 7, 2022
The Wild took a two-goal lead at 12:26 of the second period.
On a 3-on-2 rush, Marcus Foligno found Boldy at the inside hash marks for a quick shot over Swayman’s blocker. 3-2 Wild.
The Bruins cut into their deficit at 15:35 of the second period with their second power-play goal.
Patrice Bergeron picked up the loose puck from Matt Grzelcyk’s shot and backhanded it over to Marchand. Inside the right-wing circle, Marchand fired a quick shot past Kahkonen’s glove. Final score though: 3-2 Wild.