March 30, 2019 / 5:03 AM / 23 days ago

Knights fall to Wild but still clinch playoff berth

Eric Staal had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves as the Minnesota Wild held on to edge the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Friday night in Las Vegas.

Mar 29, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Minnesota Wild center Luke Kunin (19) gets away from Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Jon Merrill (15) to take a shot on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban (30) during the first period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Despite sustaining a fourth consecutive loss, Vegas still clinched a Stanley Cup playoff berth by virtue of Colorado’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

Kevin Fiala and Greg Pateryn also scored goals for Minnesota, which remained four points behind the Avalanche for the second Western Conference wild-card spot with four games remaining for both teams. Las Vegas-raised Jason Zucker added two assists as the Wild improved to 5-0-1 all-time against the Golden Knights.

Dubnyk, playing in his 65th game, a league high among goalies, hit the 30-win mark for the fourth straight season while improving to 4-0-1 all-time against the Golden Knights.

Paul Stastny scored both goals for Vegas while Malcolm Subban finished with 29 saves to lose for just the second time (13-2-1) in his career at T-Mobile Arena.

Pateryn gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead at the 2:12 mark of the first period with his first goal of the season. He fired a shot behind the goal line in the right corner that hit Subban’s right leg and then caromed in.

The Wild made it 2-0 just before the end of the period on a power-play goal. Staal deflected a Zucker wrist shot from the top of the slot over Subban’s left shoulder for his 22nd of the season.

Minnesota increased its lead to 3-0 midway through the second period with another power-play tally, this one by Fiala on a rebound, his 13th.

Stastny put Vegas on the board with two minutes to go in the period, tapping in a rebound of Shea Theodore shot into an open right side of the net.

Vegas then closed within 3-2 midway through the third period on Stastny’s second goal of the game. The Golden Knights center slapped a long crossing pass from Max Pacioretty into the left side of the net for his 13th goal of the season.

Vegas pulled Subban with 2:05 to go, and Dubnyk stopped Stastny point blank on a potential game-tying rebound try with five seconds left.

—Field Level Media

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