In St Paul, the Minnesota Wild’s Kaapo Kahkonen entered the game after the first intermission and made 17 saves to help defeat the visiting San Jose Sharks, 4-1, on Friday night.
“It’s not easy, but you just have to be ready for anything when you’re a backup goalie in a game,” Kahkonen said. “I felt pretty good actually. It was good.”
Cam Talbot got the start for the Wild but left the game after making 11 saves on 12 shots in the opening frame.
Matt Nieto scored the lone Sharks goal when he knotted the game at 1-1 in the first period.
“We need more from the big guys,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said. “We got another goal from Matt Nieto on that fourth line here. We need our best players to be our best players. … Again, I thought we played well enough to win, but we need more offense obviously than just one goal. It’s tough to win that game.”
Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves, yielding two goals.
“Definitely nice to get that first goal back,” Nieto said. “I think all three of us (linemates Patrick Marleau and Marcus Sorensen) are just experienced guys. We work for each other. We can all play with pace. It’s been working well so far. We just have to keep rolling here.”
“I knew it was going to be weird for many reasons, obviously coming back, but, you know, not having fans,” Dubnyk said. “I just wanted to go out and try to play, and felt in the first period … I was a little fired up and overthinking stuff. I just wanted to give the guys a good chance. I thought we played extremely well tonight.
“… It would have been real nice to win, but it was nice to get [the first game back] out of the way, and I feel like we played OK.”