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Wild respond to Zucker trade with resounding win over Vegas

Kevin Fiala has five goals and five assists in his last five games.
Mikko Koivi, Kevin Fiala

General Manager Bill Guerin made it clear that if he noticed any lack of energy that more trades would follow the deal that sent Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh. There was no quit in the Wild Tuesday night as they scored twice in the first period and blitzed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0 inside the Xcel Energy Center. 

Kevin Fiala remained red-hot with a goal and two assists and Alex Stalock made 26 saves in the shutout effort. Joel Eriksson Ek, Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise capped the scoring for Minnesota.

The win was critical for Minnesota's playoff hopes, as Vegas is one of the teams they're chasing in the Western Conference wild-card race. Entering play Wednesday, Minnesota (60 points) is four points out of the first and second wild-card spots, which are controlled by Vegas (64 points) and Arizona (64 points). Vancouver (63 points) is the only other team ahead of the Wild. 

Fiala has just 14 goals this season but he's been smoking-hot of late with five goals and five assists in his last five games. 

"I hope he can be like this every night. I mean, if he can, then great, he's come of age," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's just that right now, he's in a good place, and I don't want to bug him."

Alex Galchenyuk, a forward the Wild acquired in the Zucker trade, had one shot in 12:26 of ice time. 

Up next: Minnesota hosts the New York Rangers Thursday at 7 p.m. 

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