Last goal wins wasn't an exaggeration.
It was reality.
The Wild and Golden Knights ditched their typically sharp styles for a scoring bonanza, with the Wild burying two goals in the final two minutes to shock Vegas 6-5 Monday in front of 3,000 at Xcel Energy Center in an entertaining preview of a potential playoff matchup.
"In a game like that," goaltender Cam Talbot said, "just put the puck at the net and see what happens."
After rookie Kirill Kaprizov roofed a rebound over Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner to tie the game with 1:32 to go in the third period, Jonas Brodin sealed the comeback just 26 seconds later on a slapshot from the point.
"It was rolling up to me, and I was just trying to get it on the net," said Brodin, who notched a career high in goals with the tally — his ninth of the season.
Kevin Fiala kick-started the rally 10:49 into the third with his 20th goal of the season before Kaprizov's team-leading 24th goal and second game-tying goal in three games. Kaprizov also had an assist, his 21st, to tie Filip Kuba for the most in a season by a Wild rookie.
This was the fourth time this season the Wild has overcome a multi-goal, third-period deficit to win, which is tied for the most in the NHL.
The Wild also did it Saturday in a 4-3 overtime victory vs. St. Louis, with Brodin supplying the tying goal with one minute remaining.
"It's definitely not something I think anyone could foresee with our two teams and how well we play defensively," said Talbot, who had 27 saves; Lehner made 26. "But sometimes you have to scratch and claw and put every puck on net like Brods did at the end there, and you never know what can happen."
As frenzied as the finish was, it wasn't out of the blue considering how the game started.
Lehner was shaky, at one point losing his stick and then clutching it upside down when he got it back. That's when Joel Eriksson Ek wired in the puck 3:36 into the first.
But 53 seconds later, Vegas — playing shorthanded and dressing only 11 forwards — evened the score on a Shea Theodore shot with Mattias Janmark setting the screen in front of Talbot, who immediately protested.
The Wild issued its first coach's challenge of the season, but video review determined Talbot wasn't interfered with on the goal.
"That has been called all year long," Talbot said. "It never gets called on me. I don't know why. Maybe I need to start diving. It's unbelievable that this keeps happening. The inconsistency is ridiculous."
Vegas went to the power play because of the unsuccessful challenge, and cashed in with its first lead — on a rising shot by Alec Martinez at 6:05.
Just 1:43 later, a Matt Dumba shot bounced out of Lehner's glove, and Nick Bonino backhanded in the rebound. But Vegas hauled a 3-2 lead into the intermission after Alex Tuch's shot trickled through Talbot at 12:20.
That deficit ballooned to two goals by 6:48 of the second when Chandler Stephenson picked off a Jared Spurgeon pass and set up Mark Stone.
Soon after, Spurgeon atoned for the gaffe on the power play when Bonino redirected in his shot at 8:44 off his back en route to his second three-point effort of the year and fifth multi-point game in the last 11.
The Wild went 1-for-2 on the power play, and the Golden Knights were 1-for-3. Vegas leads the Wild by four points in the West Division with five games remaining for both teams, including one on Wednesday at the X.
"We just kept with it and kept shooting pucks," Spurgeon said. "Not the prettiest of goals. But when they go in, everyone's happy."
Before the second ended, Jonathan Marchessault finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play at 16:04. But that put the Wild in a position it has had success in before — down two goals with one period to go.
"We can feel it," Talbot said. "It doesn't matter if we're down one goal, two goals going into the third, we're still a confident group. We're going to go out there, keep playing our game. It's never out of the question for us. We've shown that lately."