The special teams struggles went from bad to worse for the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, leading to a 4-0 loss and a subsequent 3-2 deficit in their first-round series with the Dallas Stars.
As we wait on Minnesota sports betting updates, here is how Game 5 played out.
Penalties Hurt Wild Early
Things were bleak from the start, and once again bruising winger Marcus Foligno was in the middle of the early penalty conversation. After taking two minors in game four that he felt were unjustified, Foligno took a kneeing penalty less than three minutes into game five. Foligno received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his actions, which momentarily knocked Dallas forward Radek Faksa from the game.
As was the case both times Foligno was penalized last game, Dallas struck immediately on the power play as Tyler Seguin continued his torrid start to the playoffs with his fourth goal. The Stars power play wasn’t done there, as Jason Robertson scored another later in the period and the PP unit ended the game with a 2/6 conversion rate.
Minnesota Could Not Convert On Power Plays
Minnesota only received three power plays in the game. Still, they could have been on the man advantage 20 times and it wouldn’t have mattered as they were ineffective each time they were up a man, with the only play they seemed to be able to generate is a John Klingberg shot from the outside. The lack of a counterpunch, when they were given opportunities, the lack of a counterpunch was a killer, and they could never recover from the early major and deficit it created.
Stars Goalie Perfect In Game 5: Concerns For Wild
Jake Oettinger was sensational yet again in net and continued to build on his growing reputation as a big time playoff performer. The Minnesota native was once again a Wild killer, stopping all 27 shots generated by the visiting squad. Marcus Johansson led the way with four of those 27 shots and a handful of players had three.
Most concerning was Kirill Kaprizov, as the superstar remains stuck on one playoff point and only mustered one shot and was a minus-two in his almost 23 minutes of ice time. With the top players on Dallas all playing well and contributing offense the lack of production from Kaprizov is even more pronounced. Roope Hintz had his third three point night of the series and his linemates Robertson and Seguin also had two points each. If the Wild defenders aren’t going to be able to slow down that trio Kaprizov will have to find a way to match or even surpass their production in game six to stave off elimination.
The teams will have a rare two-day break between game five and six giving Minnesota much-needed time to prepare a game plan ahead of the win-or-go-home elimination game. Back in their home rink, DraftKings Sportsbook has made Minnesota a slight -115 favorite on the opening line. As is the norm in this series, the low 5.5 over/under is favored to go under with the stellar play of Oettinger and Minnesota’s Filip Gustavsson. As is the message for any team down 3-2 in a series, they can only focus on the game ahead and if they are successful, anything can happen in a game seven showdown.
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