It was a mismatch from the start.
Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno called for the linesman to break up a fight between him and San Jose Sharks’ Nikolai Knyzhov during Monday night’s game after the veteran landed a number of punches that left the young defenseman bloodied.
The fight broke out with the Wild leading by one with a little over two minutes left in the first period.
“A stick kind of gets up in the groin area, and you’re not too happy about it,” Foligno said, via the Star Tribune. “That stuff happens, and it’s part of the game.”
The 29-year-old veteran landed a couple of punches with his right hand, connecting with Knyzhov’s eye each time, before he gestured over to the linesman to break it up.
“I thought it was enough,” Foligno said. “I give that kid a lot of credit. I think there’s things you do when you’re young to answer the bell and you have to do it and you gain a lot of respect from your teammates. So, I’m sure he got that tonight. But there’s no point. Move on. I thought it was kind of over after a couple of punches. That’s all. I’ve had guys let up on me before. It’s just respectful.”
The Wild beat the Sharks 6-2 for their third consecutive win. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and three assists, while Kirill Kaprizov, Ian Cole, Jonas Brodin and Foligno also scored in what was Minnesota’s highest-scoring game of the season.
“I think this group has confidence for sure,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “Clearly you feel good about yourself when you can score goals and obviously defend as well. We’ve been real good at taking it one game at a time and clearly we’ve got to continue to do that.”
The Wild will travel to Colorado to play the Avalanche on Wednesday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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