ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kaapo Kahkonen made 17 saves in relief for the Minnesota Wild in a 4-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in their home opener at Xcel Energy Center on Friday.
It was goalie Devan Dubnyk‘s first game at Minnesota since being traded to San Jose on Oct. 5, 2020, after six seasons with the Wild. He made 25 saves on 27 shots.
Kahkonen replaced starter Cam Talbot (11 saves on 12 shots) to start the second period. The Wild did not disclose why Talbot left the game.
Joel Eriksson Ek, Zach Parise, Kevin Fiala and Jordan Greenway scored for Minnesota (4-1-0).
Matt Nieto scored for San Jose (2-3-0).
The Sharks and Wild will play again in Minnesota on Sunday.
Eriksson Ek made it 1-0 at 5:01 of the first period when he scored off the rebound of a shot by Greenway.
Nieto tied the game 1-1 at 6:12, scoring off a pass from Erik Karlsson.
Parise gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead at 13:17 of the second when he scored his first goal of the season off his own rebound. Nick Bjugstad had an assist for his first point with the Wild.
Fiala scored his first of the season into an empty net at 18:44 of the third period to make it 3-1, and Greenway scored into an empty net with 26 seconds remaining for the 4-1 final.
Wild forward Nico Sturm was a late scratch because of illness (not COVID-19 protocol).