LOS ANGELES – After the clock showed he repented for the shove and ensuing fight, Marcus Foligno thought his exile was up and he could exit the penalty box and rejoin the game.
But he was wrong.
"The linesman came over and said, 'Sit back down. You guys are in there for 10 more minutes,'" Foligno said. "So, I think obviously the wires crossed."
Not only was Foligno banished to the box for fighting with the Ducks' Max Jones in the first period of the Wild's season opener on Friday at Anaheim — in addition to receiving an interference penalty for pushing Jones into the net — but both players were also slapped with a 10-minute misconduct for trying to resume their tussle after they were separated.
Eventually, near the end of the second period, Foligno was released and he quickly made an impact in his return.
His first shift back culminated in a Wild power play that Kevin Fiala scored on while Foligno was posted up in front of the crease, a goal that evened the score at 1. And then with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation, Foligno scored on a spin-o-rama shot to finalize a 2-1 comeback and give the Wild a feel-good start to the season.
Talk about making up for lost time.
"I just got lucky," Foligno said.
This finish, at 19:52, is now the latest go-ahead goal in Wild history, surpassing the previous record of 19:44 set by Jim Dowd on Jan. 21, 2004, vs. Chicago.
Foligno also became the third player in NHL history to score a go-ahead goal in the final 10 seconds of regulation in his team's season opener, a memorable outcome — for the Wild and Foligno, who made his regular-season debut as one of the Wild's new alternate captains.
"He's a great key to our team," Fiala said. "We all know he brings that energy, physical. He scored the game-winning goal, so it's typical. He did a great job with the fighting. Stand up for the team, and we got some energy after that."
Foligno's fracas with Jones began after Foligno nudged Jones into the net to knock it off its moorings, and the front of the net was a popular attraction during the game.
"I did notice that," goaltender Cam Talbot said. "I feel like I was getting bumped into while I was trying to take my ice and get to the top of my paint. I was being pushed back in the blue quite a bit."
Before the season, the NHL announced cross-checking would be more strictly enforced — a crackdown that could lead to more forwards crashing the crease since defensemen might not get away with whacking them out of the way.
"I think you're going to see a lot more of that if guys can't box out like they usually can and give a little shot to the back to move guys," Talbot said. "It's going to be tough for our D-men to do anything. It's going to be a battle for them, but a battle for us to fight through that traffic and at least make that first save and try to put it somewhere where we can retrieve it or eat it because they've obviously got a guy standing right there ready to bang it home."
The Wild made no changes to its lineup ahead of facing the Kings on Saturday, sticking with Talbot in net after he made 28 saves on Friday.
Defenseman Jordie Benn and forward Rem Pitlick remained scratches.
Coach Dean Evason praised Brandon Duhaime, who flexed his speed and racked up three shots in the 9 minutes, 1 second he logged during his NHL debut on Friday.
But before Duhaime made a solid first impression, he tripped on a puck while skating on the ice by himself at the start of warmups — a first-game tradition for rookies.
"I swear Cliff planted all those pucks out there," said Duhaime, referring to the Wild's assistant equipment manager Cliff Halstead. "He put too many out there and threw me off, so I took a good spill there. Take the nerves out, though, I think."
Duhaime credited training camp for helping him adapt to the NHL pace, and he also gave kudos to his linemates Nico Sturm and Nick Bjugstad.
"They do a really good job of talking to me and helping me, whether it's systems or positioning," said Duhaime, who became the 15th Florida-born player to play in the NHL. "They do a great job, supporting me when I have the puck and talking to me, so they're doing an awesome job easing me into it."