LAS VEGAS – The Wild didn't win Game 1 until overtime, when Joel Eriksson Ek scored early in the extra session, but the team could have lost the game in the first period.
Vegas had the early edge, outshooting the Wild 19-5, and although the Wild survived the onslaught, the team is eyeing a better debut in Game 2 on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena when it has the chance to go up 2-0 in the best-of-seven, first-round series.
Road teams that go up 2-0 are 80-20 all-time in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Wild hasn't won a Game 2 since April 11, 2008, vs. Colorado.
"They're going to be as desperate as they were, and we need to be even more desperate than they are," coach Dean Evason said. "We've talked about it all year that it doesn't matter what happened last game. At the drop of the puck tonight, we have to be prepared, ready to go, and if we can match what we know they're going to bring and hopefully exceed it, we should be in a good spot."
After getting shut out in Game 1, the Golden Knights are looking to play with a lead but the Wild can also improve its execution after missing on a bevy of quality chances in Game 1.
On Monday, Evason checked in with the Kevin Fiala, Victor Rask and Marcus Johansson line that combined for just three shots in Game 1 and Evason said the group can't get frustrated.
"Kevin, in particular, can get frustrated offensively," Evason said. "But I talked to him [Monday]. He's doing his job. He's doing what he has to do. He's giving his team an opportunity to have success. They'll be a game where Kevin obviously will score. He scores. That's his thing.
"But he can't hurt us anywhere else, and that's no different than anybody else on our hockey club, and we expect them to play the same way here tonight."
The Wild is expected to roll out the same lineup for Game 2; the team's morning skate was optional, and many players – including starter Cam Talbot – stayed off the ice.
Game 2 will be veteran center Nick Bonino's 100th in the playoffs.
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Kirill Kaprizov- Ryan Hartman-Mats Zuccarello
Kevin Fiala-Victor Rask-Marcus Johansson
Nick Bonino-Nico Sturm-Nick Bjugstad
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Ian Cole
42: Saves for Talbot in Game 1, his fifth career playoff shutout.
23: Blocked shots by the Wild in Game 1.
81: Shots attempts by Vegas in the first game.
41: Faceoff wins by the Golden Knights last game compared to 25 for the Wild.
3: Successful penalty kills by the Wild in Game 1.
About the Golden Knights:
Injured winger Max Pacioretty will be a game-time decision for Vegas. He missed Game 1 and hasn't played since May 1. Expect goalie Marc-Andre Fleury back in net after he made 29 saves in Game 1. Fleury is the NHL's active leader in playoff wins (81) and games played (147). If Pacioretty remains out, winger Alex Tuch could start on the team's top line after getting moved there during Game 1.