Matt Dumba’s first goal of the season early in the third period proved to be the difference as the visiting Minnesota Wild earned a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
Mats Zuccarello and Jonas Brodin also scored, while Wild goaltender Cam Talbot made 22 saves to earn his team’s fifth win in six games to kick off the campaign. Although not as busy as his counterpart, Talbot stood tall to earn his fifth victory in as many starts, particularly when he made a clutch save on Brock Boeser’s one-timer during an odd-man rush in the early going.
Alex Chiasson and Bo Horvat scored for the Canucks, who dropped their home opener. Goalie Thatcher Demko stopped 27 shots in a strong performance.
Zuccarello’s third goal of the season sent the Wild off and running. Sprung on a breakaway by Joel Eriksson Ek, Zuccarello zipped a five-hole shot to give the Wild a 1-0 edge at 7:41 of the opening frame. It’s the first time this season that the Wild have opened the scoring.
Brodin’s first goal of the campaign doubled the lead 147 seconds into the middle frame. After stepping up to reach the high slot, Brodin sent a shot to the net then had the sense to pounce on the rebound and find the target.
The Canucks needed a boost to get back in the game, and received it when Chiasson netted a power-play goal just past the midway point of the second period. Chiasson set up shop in the slot and re-directed Elias Pettersson’s cross-ice pass for his second marker of the season.
However, Dumba restored Minnesota’s two-goal lead four minutes into the third period. Dumba joined a two-on-one rush and one-timed a perfect cross-ice pass from Rem Pitlick to net the game-winning goal.
Horvat made it a one-goal game with little more than four minutes remaining, burying a backhander while fending off a check to score his fourth goal of the season. But the hosts couldn’t find the equalizer.
Adding to the Canucks’ woes, defenseman Tucker Poolman left the game with an injury in the second period.