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NEWARK, N.J. — Cam Talbot made 40 saves for the Minnesota Wild in a 3-2 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Wednesday.
“He was awesome,” Wild forward Marcus Foligno said. “He played unbelievable all game and was a big reason we won that hockey game. Nothing seems to faze him. He’s the face of our team when it comes to even keel, and he played awesome.”
Yegor Sharangovich tied it 2-2 for the Devils on a snapshot from the slot with 1:07 left in the third period with goalie Mackenzie Blackwood pulled for an extra attacker.
Ryan Hartman and Nico Sturm scored, and Talbot did not allow a goal in the shootout for the Wild (12-6-1). Kevin Fiala scored in the second round for the only goal in the tiebreaker.
“You can’t pinpoint one move [in the shootout] because once you’re looking for that, then they go with something else and then they make you look silly,” Talbot said. “I’m just trying to stay as patient as possible.”
Video: [email protected]: Sturm hammers home SHG
Pavel Zacha scored, Nico Hischier had two assists in the third period, and Blackwood made 25 saves for the Devils (8-5-4) in his first NHL game against the Wild. The Devils went 0-for-4 on the power play and are 0-for-10 in their past three games.
“We did have a couple of good looks [on the power play],” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “We made some tough decisions, but that’s stuff that we’re just going to continue to keep working on. We just got to keep believing that if we keep working at it, it’s going to get better.”
The 7 p.m. ET start time was pushed back 24 minutes after the Wild, who were staying in New York, did not arrive at Prudential Center until 6:26 p.m. due to a closure of the Holland Tunnel.
“All I’m thinking is, when we get there, just get ready to play the game,” Talbot said. “There’s not much else you can do. As soon as you start to think about all the things you can’t control, that’s when the game is going to go the wrong way for you, so just show up, do what we do.”
Hartman scored his third goal in four games and team-leading 10th of the season on a deflection to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead at 12:10 of the first period. Dmitry Kulikov took the initial shot from the right point.
Sturm made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal at 19:06 with a snapshot from the bottom of the right face-off circle after taking a pass from Frederick Gaudreau on a 2-on-1.
Zacha scored on a quick snapshot from the bottom of the left face-off circle to pull the Devils within 2-1 at 3:08 of the third period.
“There were opportunities earlier to score that we missed,” Ruff said. “We missed some really good opportunities.”
Video: [email protected]: Zacha pulls one back for Devils
Talbot made three saves when the Devils had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:08 beginning at 12:46 of the third period.
“We don’t let a lot of things get to us … we were playing ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ on the bus ride over,” Foligno said. “This was an eventful road trip. We were able to get together, go to dinner, make some memories, and learn more about each other, so it was perfect timing that this happened to us. We just got to understand there are things you can’t control and you have to just go to work.”
The bus carrying the Wild players left for Prudential Center a little after 4 p.m. but was stuck in traffic for nearly two hours while waiting for an accident to be cleared six blocks from their hotel in Manhattan.
“It was a gong show,” Foligno said. “We took a nice, beautiful, scenic route in New York City. It was awesome. The young guys really took it in. I’ve been late to games because of a snowstorm, or something like that, but this was different. We had a little bit of a dance party as we got closer, and a police escort was on the way, so the boys were in light mood, but the legs were heavy for sure in that game.”
NOTES: Hartman has scored 10 goals in a season for the first time since he scored 10 in 2018-19 with the Nashville Predators. … Wild forward Nick Bjugstad had seven hits and four shots on goal in 9:26 after being a healthy scratch for two games. … Forward Chase De Leo had four hits in 5:30 in his Devils debut after being called up from Utica of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. … Hischier leads New Jersey with 10 assists. … Devils defenseman Ty Smith was a healthy scratch and was replaced in lineup by Colton White, who was minus-1 with two hits in 13:04 in his first game since Nov. 9. … Minnesota, which finished 1-1-1 on its three-game road trip, begins a five-game homestand Friday.
Video: Wild get past Devils in shootout for win