Matt Boldy nets hat trick for Wild in bounceback win over Capitals
Since general manager Bill Guerin acquired Marcus Johansson on Feb. 28 in a move that flew under the radar, Boldy has been a completely different player
ST. PAUL — The sweat on Matt Boldy’s brow hadn’t even dried in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s loss to the Boston Bruins when he declared he already was looking forward to the matchup with the Washington Capitals less than 24 hours later.
“It’s nice to play really quick after a loss,” Boldy said Saturday afternoon. “It’ll be nice to come back and play tomorrow.”
The motivation was palpable on Sunday afternoon as Boldy netted a hat trick to pace the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 win over the Capitals.
The performance from Boldy was the latest in an impressive run that has coincided with the Wild trading for Marcus Johansson. Since general manager Bill Guerin acquired Johansson on Feb. 28 — in a move that flew under the radar amid the usual trade deadline clatter — Boldy has been a completely different player.
He has six goals and five assists in that span and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Asked earlier this week about building chemistry with Johansson so quickly, Boldy noted how much they complement each other.
“He plays so fast and skates so effortlessly and makes so many plays,” Boldy said. “It’s the type of guy that I like to play with, where I give the puck to him and he’s looking back to me.”
Boldy’s first goal Sunday came after an initial shot from Johansson. The second came after a give-and-go with Johansson. The third, well, he did that all by himself with a perfectly placed shot on a breakaway in the final minutes.
It was a fast start for the Wild as they went up 1-0 exactly 50 seconds into the first period when Boldy cleaned up a rebound in front. Not long after that, Boldy stretched the lead to 2-0, finishing off a pretty passing sequence with Johansson in close.
The score held until early in the second period when Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin scored from his office to cut the deficit to 2-1. Luckily for the Wild, Ryan Reaves helped take the edge off midway through the frame with a redirection to make it 3-1.
There were fireworks in the third period as Brandon Duhaime stretched the lead to 4-1 before Ovechkin scored again to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Less than 90 seconds after Ovechkin made things interesting, Boldy completed his hat trick with a goal to make it 5-2. In the waning moments, Capitals center Dylan Strome finalized the score at 5-3.
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