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Wild winger Matt Boldy nets first career playoff goal in losing effort

For the Wild, the hope is that Boldy’s goal sparks his entire line moving forward.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues
Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Boldy controls the puck away from St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in the second period Sunday, May 8, 2022, in St. Louis.
Jeff Le / USA Today Sports
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ST. LOUIS — With the Minnesota Wild in desperate need of a spark in Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday at Enterprise Center, rookie winger Matt Boldy stepped up big time.

After an initial shot on net resulted in traffic near Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, Boldy spotted the loose puck in the crease and jammed it home to cut into the deficit.

While it wasn’t the prettiest play by any stretch of the imagination, it will forever go down as Boldy’s first career playoff goal. It certainly won’t be his last.

“It feels good,” Boldy said before immediately shifting the focus to the fact that the Wild suffered a 5-2 loss to the Blues. “Obviously would have been nice to get a win.”

For the Wild, the hope is that Boldy’s goal sparks his entire line moving forward. He has skated alongside Freddy Gaudreau and opposite Kevin Fiala for most of this season. It’s not very often they were bottled up as much as they have been in this series.

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In other words, the Wild need more from the line In Game 5, Game 6 and, potentially, Game 7.

“We’ve got to find a way to be better and take the momentum we created and use it to our advantage,” Boldy said. “We have to be better for sure.”

Power outage

Like it has a number of times this season, the power play cost the Wild in their Game 4 loss. Not only did the Wild finish 0 for 4 on the man advantage, they came up empty down the stretch with a chance to tie the game.

“We had good looks,” coach Dean Evason said. “We missed the net. We just looked at it. I think the stats say we had 20 missed shots, and I’d say a lot of them were probably on the power play. We just didn’t hit the net.”

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Now the 2021-22 Minnesota Wild will be remembered similarly to many of their predecessors: a regular-season team that flamed out far too early in the postseason.
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The result guaranteed that the Wild will have to come back to St. Louis next week.
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After getting shut out in Game 1, the Wild responded with a big win over the Blues in Game 2.
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The response started with Kirill Kaprizov. Who else would it be? He lifted the Wild from the depths of despair late in the first period with a goal to cut the deficit to 3-1. That stretched Kaprizov’s season total to 42 goals, tying him with Marian Gaborik and Eric Staal for the franchise record.
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The 24-year-old has racked up 30 goals, 43 assists, and 73 points with 24 games to play.
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A first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft out of the University of North Dakota, the 24-year-old Jost has 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in 59 games this season.
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That limited second chance opportunities for the Wild and might explain why they never found the back of the net.

“We still, on some of them, created some momentum, and that’s the most important part,” Gaudreau said. “Of course we want to get some goals, but like I said, there were some opportunities there.”

Still, it would’ve been nice to cash in on the power play, right?

“So be it,” Dumba said. “This is a game we’re gonna put behind us and move forward.”

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Home ice

No matter what happens next week, if the Wild win both games at Xcel Energy Center, they will advance to the next round. That’s why the Wild so badly wanted home-ice advantage in the series against the Blues.

That said, as confident as the Wild are when it comes to playing in St .Paul, they aren’t taking it for granted right now. As both the Wild and Blues have already proven once in this series, home-ice advantage doesn’t mean anything if the home team loses.

“We know we have to work it into existence,” Dumba said. “We’re always happy to go home and be in front of our fans. Hopefully build some good momentum here in Game 5.”

Related Topics: MINNESOTA WILD
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