LAS VEGAS — The chess match started before the puck even dropped for Game 1 of the first-round NHL playoff series between the Wild and the Vegas Golden Knights.

While the Wild went with their go-to line of Joel Eriksson Ek centering Jordan Greenway and Marcus Foligno on Sunday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights trotted out their heavy-hitting line of Keegan Kolesar centering William Carrier and Ryan Reaves.

Both teams were clearly trying to set the tone from the onset. What followed was an incredibly physical game that featured 128 combined hits before the Wild emerged with a 1-0 overtime victory over the top-seeded Golden Knights.

“This is a man’s series,” Vegas coach Pete DeBoer said after the game. “It’s going to be some heavy hockey.”

In a past life, the Wild might have been intimidated by, say, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Reaves throwing his body around the rink. Not anymore. Not when they can counter with a hulking trio of their own.

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Whether it’s the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Greenway, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Eriksson Ek or the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Foligno, the Wild have the personnel to hold their own in a physical series. They also have the mentality to do so.

“It’s definitely a focus point for us,” said Greenway, who finished with a team-high 11 hits in the game “We play a heavy game. We like to create space for ourselves. We get in on the forecheck and make their defensemen turn the puck over. We really wanted to establish that early.”

That’s exactly what the Wild did as they doled out 71 hits to set a new team playoff record.

Asked about the record-breaking performance, Wild coach Dean Evason joked that the actual number of hits seemed a bit inflated. Nonetheless, he was proud of the way his team competed in that type of environment.

“That’s how the game’s played,” Evason said. “Everybody knows that once we get to the playoffs, there’s an elevation in the game. And I think both teams proved that.”

It likely will be more of the same during in Game 2 on Tuesday night. In fact, the Golden Knights might even come out more aggressive to make sure they don’t fall behind 0-2 in the best-of-seven series.

That starts with Reaves. After sitting out the final 16 games of the regular season with an undisclosed injury, the 34-year-old winger brought an added intensity in his return to the lineup. He finished with 10 hits in Game 1m and it wouldn’t shock anyone if Reaves finished with even more in Game 2.

If that’s the case, the Wild will need the Greenway-Eriksson Ek-Foligno line, in particular, to match that physicality throughout the game.

“It’s a part of what our line has success with,” Foligno said. “If we don’t do that, that physical side of it, we’re not that great. There’s games where we haven’t been involved physically, and it shows.

“We just want to be able to provide that for our team and create space for other lines to go out there. The playoffs are all about wearing teams down and players down and the physical part of that does that. We’re happy to do it.”