The Austrian NHL newcomer Marco Rossi made his home debut for Minnesota Wild on Saturday evening with a lucky penalty win. Rossi’s team beat Washington Capitals 3-2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul after Mats Zuccarello had only equalized 35 seconds before the end of regular time. Rossi remained without a point, but gave three shots on goal. He also received his first two penalty minutes in the ice hockey league.
Rossi first played in the strongest ice hockey league in the world on Epiphany. The Wild celebrated a 3-2 away win against the Boston Bruins. His first game on home ice brought the same close result, but after a real thriller. Rossi took his first penalty in the ninth minute. Because Nick Jensen was stopped, he had to go to the penalty box for two minutes. In the 12th minute he tested Capitals goalie Zach Fucale for the first time with a shot on goal, three minutes later another followed over the gate.
After the goalless first third, the capital city team took the lead with a double strike from Connor McMichael (23rd) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (26th / PP). In the 34th minute, an own goal by Capitals player Marcus Foligno brought the home team back into play. In the third period, Minnesota Wild pushed for the equalizer, with Rossi also having his strongest moments. Fucale had to fend off the Vorarlberger’s second and third shot on goal in the 50th and 52nd minute.
The commitment of the home team was rewarded by Zuccarello’s equalizer in the 60th minute. Fucale had previously saved 21 shots on goal. After a goalless stoppage time, the decision was finally made in the penalty shoot-out, in which the home team prevailed 2-0 with goals from Kevin Fiala and Frederick Gaudreau. Rossi had a total ice age of 14:51 minutes.