LAS VEGAS - The Wild-Vegas first round playoff series heads to Xcel Energy Center after the teams split at T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights won Game 2 3-1 Tuesday, finally breaking the ice on Wild goalie Cam Talbot, who had a shutout in Sunday's Game 1.
Joel Eriksson Ek's overtime goal and Talbot's 42 saves were the highlights in the Wild's Game 1 victory .
But what was also vital to the 1-0 outcome was defenseman Ian Cole sprawling on the ice in the third period to intercept a William Karlsson centering attempt, a block that might have saved a goal.
"You just kind of try to get down and make sure you take that passing lane away, and then if you can work your way into the shot lane, then you work your way into the shot lane as well," Cole said.
"It happened quick so in the moment, that's just how I ended up doing it. It ended up working, so it was good."
Not all shot blocks are successful; Vegas' Alec Martinez tried to get in the way of Eriksson Ek's windup in overtime, and the puck ended up clipping Martinez's skate and sailing into the net for the game-winning goal. But players still take their chances, especially in the playoffs.
"They're never going to be perfect," Cole said. "They're never going to be 100 percent.
"You're never going to be able to not get hit with a puck like Martinez did and go in. It happens. You do your best."
Attendance numbers across the NHL are on the rise in the playoffs.
The Wild and Golden Knights played in front of 8,683 on Sunday for Game 1, approximately 50% capacity for T-Mobile Arena.
"It's always a great atmosphere here in Vegas," Cole said. "Even their half-full or just-under-half-full buildings are very loud and very energetic, so it was a great atmosphere and they certainly brought it."
Carolina had 12,000 fans on hand Monday when it hosted Nashville for Game 1. The Predators are allowed 12,135 for their home playoff games, and St. Louis is expecting 9,000.
The Wild can have up to 4,500 fans at Xcel Energy Center (25% capacity) when the series shifts to Minnesota, starting with Game 3 on Thursday. After only a few hundred attendees early in the season, the Wild eventually expanded to 3,000 and then 3,300 for the regular-season finale.
"Just watching around the league, the games, the energy that the fans have has been tremendous," coach Dean Evason said. "We've talked about it a lot, about our 3,000 or whatever we've had in our building have been absolutely amazing."
The Wild nominated Mats Zuccarello for the 2020-21 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which honors the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities.
Matt Dumba won the award last year, the second consecutive season a Wild player was recognized. Jason Zucker won in 2019.
Dumba's eight shot blocks in Game 2 were a franchise record for a playoff game, and Kevin Fiala's eight shots are tied for the second most by a Wild player in a playoff game.
Talbot's shutout streak of 95 minutes, 45 seconds to open the series was also a team record.