The sweat hadn’t even dried on Matt Boldy’s forehead immediately following a loss to the Boston Bruins, and he was already looking forward to the Washington Capitals less than 24 hours later.
“It’s nice to play really fast after a loss,” Boldy said Saturday afternoon. “It will be nice to come back and play tomorrow.”
The motivation was palpable Sunday afternoon as Boldy scored a hat trick to help the Wild to a 5-3 victory over the Capitals.
Boldy’s performance was the latest in an impressive streak that coincided perfectly with the Wild’s trade for Marcus Johansson. Since general manager Bill Guerin acquired Johansson on Feb. 28 in a move that flew under the radar, Boldy has been a completely different player.
He has 6 goals and 5 assists in that span and doesn’t look 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. “He’s the type of guy I like to play with, where I give him the puck and he looks back at me.”
Boldy’s first goal came after an initial shot by Johansson. Boldy’s second goal came after a d-i-go with Johansson. Boldy’s third goal, well, he did it himself with a perfectly placed shot on a run in the dying minutes.
It was a quick 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, Boldy extended the lead to 2-0, finishing off a neat sequence with Johansson close behind.
The score held until early in the second period when Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin scored from his desk to cut the deficit to 2-1. Fortunately for the Wild, Ryan Reaves helped put the edge away midway through the frame with a redirect to make it 3-1.
There were fireworks in the third period as Brandon Duhaime extended 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 completed the scoring to make it 5-3.