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Filip Gustavsson posts shutout as Wild defeat Panthers

Goaltender Filip Gustavsson stopped all 41 shots he faced, and the Minnesota Wild held on for a 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers in the season opener for both teams Thursday night in Saint Paul, Minn.

Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist and Brock Faber also scored for the Wild. Minnesota recorded a shutout in its first game after notching four shutouts in 82 regular-season games in 2022-23.

Matthew Tkachuk led the Panthers with 10 shots on goal. Evan Rodrigues added four shots on goal for Florida, which had a shortened offseason after reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season.

Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky allowed two goals on 21 shots to take the loss.

Gustavsson collected his fourth career shutout. He stopped 14 shots in the first period, 12 in the second and 15 in the third to strengthen his case as Minnesota’s top goaltender ahead of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Wild opened the scoring 7:54 into the first period. Matt Boldy took the puck into the offensive zone and slipped a pass back toward the blue line for Faber, who fired a wrist shot past Bobrovsky’s stick side.

It marked the first career goal for Faber, a highly touted 21-year-old who grew up in nearby Maple Grove, Minn., and played collegiately for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Wild made it 2-0 on a four-on-three power play with 7:04 to go in the second period. Eriksson Ek parked in front of the net, found a loose puck and punched it past Bobrovsky.

Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov each earned an assist on the goal.

Minnesota finished 1-for-4 on the man advantage. Florida went 0-for-3.

The Wild will hit the road for their next two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. They will return home on Oct. 19 to oppose the Los Angeles Kings.

The Panthers will stay on the road to play the Winnipeg Jets and New Jersey Devils. They will return for their home opener on Oct. 19 against the Maple Leafs.

–Field Level Media

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