Minnesota Wild pull goalie in overtime, beat Nashville Predators 4-3 on Boldy goal


Matt Boldy scores the OT winner after the Wild pull the goalie

Matt Boldy fires home the overtime winner to give the Wild a 4-3 win over the Predators.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- — Minnesota pulled its goaltender in overtime and Matt Boldy scored to lift the Wild to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury skated off 3:30 into OT, giving Minnesota a 4-on-3 advantage. Seconds later, Boldy got a pass from Mats Zuccarello and beat Predators goalie Juuse Saros for his 24th goal.

Had Nashville scored an empty-netter after Fleury was pulled, Minnesota (31-27-7) would have forfeited its point for the overtime loss. But the Wild are trying to rally into a playoff spot, so coach John Hynes tried a risky gamble.

“We need two points,” Hynes said. "One point, zero points, it’s not doing us any good. Two points is what we need.”

Nashville’s Ryan O’Reilly scored a power-play goal with 2:02 remaining in regulation, helping the Predators avoid what would have been their first regulation loss since Feb. 15. Nashville is 10-0-2 in its last 12 games.

“It was a gutsy play by them," O'Reilly said. “It's frustrating. We're good in shootouts. Who knows, we get there, we have another chance to get two.”

Players in Minnesota’s locker room were unaware that, had Nashville scored an empty-netter in overtime, the Wild would have forfeited their point.

That included Fleury, who said he couldn't recall the last time he was pulled for an extra attacker in an overtime game.

“I'll remember this one,” Fleury said. “It was such a great feeling, great ending to the game here.”

Both teams scored in each of the three regulation periods. Ryan Hartman gave the Wild a 3-2 lead with an unassisted breakaway goal in the third.

Minnesota’s Joel Eriksson Ek was called for hooking with 2:47 to play, and O’Reilly’s 24th goal tied it at 3.

The first period had two fights. Minnesota’s Marcus Foligno and Nashville’s Michael McCarron dropped the gloves 2:57 into the game. The Wild’s Mason Shaw and Predators forward Kiefer Sherwood went at each other less than seven minutes later.

Minnesota scored its first goal just 19 seconds after Foligno and McCarron went to the penalty box for their fighting majors. Jonas Brodin collected a rebound that escaped a scrum in front of the net and buried his seventh goal of the season.

“It’s a Central Division game. We don’t like playing these guys. There’s some bad blood from last game,” said Foligno, recalling the Wild's 6-1 loss in Nashville on Feb. 29. "We’re not out of this, and we want our fans to know that that’s how we feel in here.”

Nashville tied it at 1 9:00 into the period. Sherwood passed from behind the net to Mark Jankowski, who beat Fleury for his third of the season.

The teams traded goals again in the second. Nashville’s Luke Evangelista gathered a bouncing puck off the skate of a Wild player and fired past Fleury for a 2-1 lead at 3:36.

Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov notched his 31st goal of the year on a power play late in the second.

Sunday marked the 1,000th game played by the Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The arena opened in 2000.


Predators: At Winnipeg on Wednesday night.

Wild: Host Arizona on Tuesday night.


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl