Wild's Kevin Fiala flips stick off ice to teammate Anthony Bitetto

By Alex Butler

March 4 (UPI) -- Kevin Fiala might be teammate of the year after flipping Anthony Bitetto's stick back into his hands during a Minnesota Wild loss to the Nashville Predators.

The unique assist occurred just 2:30 minutes into the Wild's 3-2 shootout loss Sunday at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn.


Minnesota and Nashville were fighting for the puck in front of the Predators' goal when Bitetto's stick came loose and slid down the ice. Fiala spotted the stick as he was skating backwards. He used his own stick to scoop up the projectile and sent it into the air, where Bitetto snagged it and continued playing.

The puck immediately came to Bitetto, who slapped it up the boards on the right side.

Nick Bonino went on to score the first goal of the game about two minutes later for the Predators. The Wild answered with goals from Eric Fehr and Jason Zucker, taking a 2-1 lead in the second period.

Filip Forsberg tied the score with his 22nd goal of the season with 4:19 remaining, sending the game to overtime. Neither team netted a goal in the extra frame, pushing it to a shootout. Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen scored for the Predators in the shootout, while Zach Parise was the only Wild player to light the lamp in the shootout.


The Wild battle the Predators again at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

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