The Minnesota Wild are making a change in net for Thursday’s Game 6 of their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues, sitting three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury and starting Cam Talbot. Wild coach Dean Evason wouldn’t reveal his lineup for the game, but Talbot was in the starter’s net at morning skate, left the ice first, and alternate captain Marcus Foligno confirmed Talbot will make the start.
The Wild are facing elimination in the game, trailing the series 3-2. The start will be the first in two weeks for Talbot.
Fleury was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline in March and started the first five games of the series, posting a .906 save percentage and 3.04 goals-against average. He allowed four goals in each of the past two games. In the regular season, Fleury had a .908 save percentage and a 2.90 GAA — including .910 and 2.74 in 11 games with the Wild.
Many were surprised when Talbot didn’t get the call for Game 1 of the playoffs. He finished the regular season on a 13-0-3 run, during which he had a .917 save percentage, a 2.35 GAA and two shutouts. Overall, he was 32-12-4 with a .911 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA. He’s also under contract with the Wild for next season, while Fleury will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Wild coach Dean Evason has expressed confidence in Fleury despite the results the week, saying his play has been “fantastic” and “real good.”
“We trust both our goaltenders,” Evason said Wednesday. “We’ve seen enough of Marc-Andre Fleury to know — and have watched him forever to know — that he’s a guy that responds correctly. We also know that Cam Talbot is the ultimate professional, works his butt off if he’s playing or not playing, and would be ready to go (Thursday) night.”
The Blues also have changed goalies in the series, turning from Ville Husso to Jordan Binnington after losses in Games 2 and 3.
(Photo of Cam Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury: Brad Rempel/USA Today)