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Tempers flare as Wild hammer Canadiens

Montreal was anything but polite after the Wild picked up an 8-2 victory.
Dean Evason

The Minnesota Wild picked up their sixth win in their past seven games on Monday, but it was the Montreal Canadiens antics after the game that grabbed attention after an 8-2 beating at Xcel Energy Center.

The night began with the return of Cam Talbot, who was out since Jan. 1 with a lower body injury. He received a rude welcome when Mike Hoffman put Montreal on the board at 1:23 into the game. But the Wild responded quickly, tying the game on Jared Spurgeon's fourth goal of the season.

With the game even, Kirill Kaprizov put on a show for the home fans. With the puck in the offensive zone, Kaprizov circled the Montreal defense to set up a one-timer for Matt Dumba.

Later in the shift, Kaprizov made his case for next week's NHL Skills Competition, attempting a shot between the legs but watching the puck sail over the top of the net.

While Kaprizov missed, Marcus Foligno never misses. The NHL's leader in shot percentage (29.6 percent) connected on his 17th goal of the season to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead after the first period.

With the Wild in control, they relied on their fourth line to expand their advantage. Connor Dewar made it 3-1 with his first career NHL goal and on the same shift, Nico Sturm doubled down with his seventh goal of the year to make it 4-1.

Mats Zuccarello's 12th goal of the season made it a 5-1 game and brought out some frustration for Montreal. With time winding down in the second, Josh Anderson slashed Ryan Hartman in the legs, drawing a penalty and the ire of Dean Evason.

In his first game back after being waived by the Wild, Rem Pitlick scored his fourth goal of the year to make it a 5-2 game. But Kaprizov stepped on the gas, recording the 100th point of his career to feed Matt Boldy to make it 6-2.

The Wild poured it on late, getting goals from Jordy Benn and Kevin Fiala to secure the lopsided victory. But with time winding down, Michael Pezzetta delivered a late hit to Matt Dumba inspiring Foligno to skate over and clean things up.

With the final faceoff taking place, the two teams continued to send a final statement before the game finally ended.

With another victory at home, Minnesota (25-10-3) will head on the road to take on the New York Rangers on Friday night.

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