Talbot earns closing in Minnesota Wild over Montreal Canadiens 2-0

MONTREAL – Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury has taken over since he was acquired by Minnesota Wild on a trade deadline. Fellow netminder Cam Talbot has also upped his game since the deal.

MONTREAL – Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury has taken over since he was acquired by Minnesota Wild on a trade deadline. Fellow netminder Cam Talbot has also upped his game since the deal.

Talbot saved 26 balls to seal his third close of the season in Minnesota’s 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Center.

He’s glad his strong play of late comes when Wild tries to secure an ice advantage at home in the first round of the playoffs.

“It means so much more,” Talbot said. “I thought we went out really hard and I made a good save there at the end of the first half and then kept the game with one goal.

“You need to save like this throughout the match. I think that kind of made us feel a little more relaxed in the second and definitely settled (me) too.”

Kevin Villala scored and assisted Matt Boldy in the third half as Wilde improved to 48-21-7.

Talbot has gone 11-0-3 since March 3 while Florey has scored 5-1-0 since arriving in Minnesota.

“We have two great goalkeepers and for us it doesn’t really matter who plays,” Viala said. “We are confident of both.”

Wild opened the scoring in the power game at 6:57 in the first period. Mats Zuccarello’s pass one time into the net to score his 30th goal this season and seventh in his last six games.

Minnesota claimed their lead at 2:29 in the third game when Boldy put the disc between his legs and scored from a tight angle.

Carrie Price made 28 saves for Montreal. He said he felt more comfortable in his second start of the season.

“That’s been the bulk of coming back, being able to gain some confidence and play these last few games,” Price said. “There’s nothing that can replicate such actors, so being able to come back is fun and useful for the game.”

The Canadians (20-46-11) haven’t scored a goal after two games in Price’s comeback.

“I think we’ve proven that when we’re in our game we can play against almost everyone but you need the whole team,” said Canadiens interim coach Martin St. “If you’re missing the players, it’s tough but we’ve all been there.

“The first four (or) five minutes were tough but we managed to regroup and played a really good game. We didn’t score.”

The Canadians threatened in the second half but could not find the net. Rem Petlake had a great opportunity to break up, but Talbot denied it.

Tyler Petlake thought he scored his first Habs outfit by shooting a puck into an open net. However, Minnesota used its coach’s challenge to the goalkeeper’s interference and the goal was disallowed.

Notes: Nicolas Deslauriers played his 500th game. A resident of LaSalle, Que., there were many friends and family members in attendance. Canadian striker Paul Byron sustained a lower body injury in the first period and hasn’t returned.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on April 19, 2022.

Tristan Damore, The Canadian Press

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