Matt Boldy's 3-point game powers Wild to a 5-2 win over the Flames

Wild Flames Hockey
Minnesota Wild defenseman Jake Middleton, left, steals the puck from Calgary Flames forward Adam Ruzicka during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta, Tuesday.
Jeff McIntosh | The Canadian Press via AP

Matt Boldy scored twice and had an assist, leading the Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and an assist, and Marcus Foligno and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored for the Wild (9-10-4), who improved to 4-0-0 since Jon Hynes replaced Dean Evason as head coach Nov. 27.

“A lot of credit to Jon. He’s come in and just established what he wants us to do and play like and it’s a lot faster,” Wild forward Marcus Foligno said.

“Our breaking out is a lot better than it has been. We’re big and strong and we needed to get faster. Guys are snapping the puck around tape to tape. It’s a lot easier when you play like that and … it’s a kick in the butt when you get a coach fired.”

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Minnesota has outscored its opponents 18-5 in the four games since the coaching change. Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson had 28 saves and improved his career mark against Calgary to 4-0-1.

“I give the players a lot of credit,” Hynes said. “They had adversity early in the year and it looks right now like they just want to compete every night and get themselves, get ourselves, back in the mix to be able to contend for a playoff spot.”

Connor Zary and Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary (10-12-3). Dan Vladar stopped 13 of 16 shots in just over a period of action before being replaced by AHL callup Dustin Wolf, who turned away 11 of 13 shots.

The Flames said earlier Tuesday that goaltender Jacob Markstrom was week to week with a fractured finger on his right blocker hand, injured in Monday’s practice.

Minnesota led 2-0 just 45 seconds into the second period and 3-0 at 90 seconds when Wolf replaced Vladar. Backlund countered for the Flames at 6:49, when he redirected MacKenzie Weegar’s shot from the blue line.

“A really slow start and we knew going into the game they were a really good first-period team,” Backlund said.

“Vladdy and Wolf did their best today. It’s not on them. Vladdy played really well for us in the first. If it wasn’t for him, it would have been more goals against.”

Boldy’s second of the game at 13:58 restored the Wild's three-goal lead heading into the third period.

Zary redirected Ilya Solovyov's shot for a goal at 1:37 of the third period. Eriksson Ek countered at 6:49 when Nazem Kadri slid into Wolf as the Swede shot the puck.

Boldy deflected Kaprizov’s shot for a power-play goal and his second of the second period. He whipped the puck over Vladar’s glove at 1:30 after Kaprizov tucked in a rebound off Marco Rossi’s shot off the post.

Mats Zuccarello’s assist on Kaprizov’s goal was the 600th of his career. The 36-year-old extended his point streak to 10 games with three goals and 11 assists in that span.

Wolf turned back four shots during a Minnesota power play shortly after coming into the game. He also stoned Brandon Duhaime on a short-handed breakaway in the second period.

A sluggish start and six giveaways in the first 20 minutes had Calgary leaning heavily on Vladar. Minnesota outshot Calgary 13-5 in the first period and led 1-0 by 1:26 after scoring on their first shot of the game.

After deking Solovyov, Foligno’s shot that came out of the net quickly wasn’t signaled a goal until half a minute later when both teams were in Minnesota’s end.

Up next

Wild: At Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

Flames: Host Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.