Stacy Bengs / AP
Published Monday, April 3, 2023 | 8:03 p.m.
Updated Monday, April 3, 2023 | 9:33 p.m.
As William Karlsson once said, Pavel Dorofeyev is hotter than burnt toast.
That toast might be charred by this point.
The Golden Knights’ rookie forward scored twice, including the game-tying goal with less than a minute to go in regulation, as the Golden Knights rallied to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Monday.
Dorofeyev scored his sixth and seventh goals in 10 games since being recalled from AHL Henderson in early March. He was held out of the lineup Saturday in the 4-1 win against the Wild at T-Mobile Arena but returned due to Chandler Stephenson (illness) being a late scratch.
“He’s scorching. I don’t even want to be around him,” forward Keegan Kolesar said. “I’ll get second-degree burns, right?”
Kolesar scored, and Reilly Smith had an assist and scored the deciding goal in the shootout for the Golden Knights (48-22-7), who swept the home-and-home with Minnesota, as well as the season series over the Wild for the first time in franchise history.
Smith played 18:09 in his return after missing four games due to a lower-body injury.
The Wild have typically dominated Vegas in the past. The Golden Knights were 4-10-1 in their first 15 regular season matchups against the Wild.
Vegas has won six of the last seven meetings, not including the seven-game first-round victory in the first round of the 2022 playoffs.
“It’s been pretty tough for us to win in this building,” Smith said. “When we’re able to do it, especially this time of year and they’re very important points, being down a goal with a minute left and coming back to pick up two points is huge for our group right now.”
The Golden Knights are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and hold a 3-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for first place in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference.
Los Angeles will host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, who are one point behind the Kings for second place in the division.
“We weren’t at our best. We know that,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to win some of those games with your ‘B’ game, so to speak, and we were able to do it. So, good for us.”
Dorofeyev’s first goal came at 16:04 of the second period when he fired a one-timer above the left circle to tie it 2-2.
With Laurent Brossoit out of the net for the extra attacker, Dorofeyev beat Minnesota goalie Filip Gustavsson with a shot from the slot with 35 seconds remaining to tie it 3-3.
Dorofeyev added the tying goal in the bottom of the fourth round of the shootout to keep the game alive. Smith’s winner came in the next round.
Brossoit made 30 saves for his fourth win of the season, and made his third consecutive start.
“He’s been awesome,” Smith said of Brossoit, who stopped 29 of 30 shots in the win over the Wild on Saturday. “I think he got the short end of the stick in the start of the year. He’s deserving to play and play a lot. It’s great to see him get this opportunity and run with it.”
Vegas will face the Nashville Predators in a back-to-back situation on Tuesday (5 p.m., ESPN) before facing the Kings at home Thursday. Nashville is five points behind Winnipeg for the second wild-card spot in the West with six games remaining.
Jonathan Quick will start against Nashville, his first since allowing six goals against Edmonton on March 28. The expectation is Quick will start the crucial game against his former Kings team Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.