LAS VEGAS – Only one goal was scored in Game 1 between the Wild and Golden Knights, but the output wasn't for a lack of trying, as the teams combined for 128 shot attempts.
Based on the number of hits — a whopping 71 from the Wild and another 57 for Vegas, according to official NHL stats — that's also how many times players ran into each other.
"It's a little high, wasn't it?" Wild coach Dean Evason said. "That's a lot of hits."
As outrageous as that final tally looked, the start of the best-of-seven series was punishing, an edginess that isn't likely to fade as the first round continues, beginning with Game 2 on Tuesday.
"It's always physical against this team," said winger Marcus Foligno, who was credited with 10 hits Sunday. "I don't think you're counting your hits, but I feel like it's just playoff hockey. You can't go by guys. You can't stick check. One goal can make a difference, and you don't want to make that mistake.
"That's been the biggest thing is this playoff is everyone's hitting. Everyone's getting in front of guys. There's not a lot of space out there, so hits will add up."
Although the last time these teams faced off in the regular season was a slugfest, with a line brawl breaking out and Foligno fighting Nicolas Hauge, the clashes Sunday were mostly players finishing their checks — a focus that becomes magnified in the playoffs.
"There was no cheap shots," Evason said. "It was just a good, sound hockey game that is supposed to be physical. That's how the game's played. I think everybody gets through a regular season, and certainly the grind we all went through in the NHL every second day playing hockey games, it's difficult to play that style all the time.
"But I think everybody knows that once you get to the playoffs, there's an elevation in your game, and I think both teams did that."
The Wild practiced Monday morning at T-Mobile Arena, a decision initiated by players after Evason asked captain Jared Spurgeon to confer with the team and formulate a plan for the downtime in between Games 1 and 2.
"A lot of times we as coaches, and even as ex-players, we think we know what the group needs," Evason said. "But it's always great to communicate with them. They're in the battle. They have the day off not doing anything in the hotel. The coaches can go back and watch video again. They aren't watching videos."
Vegas had the NHL's third-best offense this season, scoring 190 goals, and the Wild wasn't too far behind with 180.
But the goalies upstaged the goal scorers in Game 1, and Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer isn't expecting more room to suddenly open up on the ice for chances to develop.
"There's not going to be a lot of looks in this series," DeBoer said. "They're not going to give us those opportunities, so we're going to have to earn them. You never know. That doesn't mean there won't be a game or two where we open it up. I think we can help ourselves there by making them play from behind, scoring first.
"If we get the first goal [Sunday] night, the other team has to open it up a little bit."
Vegas forward Max Pacioretty's availability for Game 2 won't be clear until Tuesday, DeBoer said.
Pacioretty hasn't played since May 1, getting sidelined because of an upper-body injury. The winger led the Golden Knights in goals in the regular season with 24.
"Concerned, obviously, because he hasn't been in the lineup for the last six games of the regular season and now he's missed the first playoff game," DeBoer said. "He's your leading goal scorer. So, for sure, we have concern like anyone would. I think it's trending in the right direction. I'm not lying when I say it's day to day. I really feel that."