Kirill Kaprizov had two assists in his return for the Minnesota Wild, a 7-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Friday.
Kaprizov hadn’t played since Jan. 6, when he suffered an upper-body injury in the second period of a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins. He missed one game, a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Jan. 8.
“This couple is backing into the corner,” Wild coach Dean Evason said of Kaprizov’s return. “He stopped and turned around and got hit pretty hard by some big people, so, yeah, I don’t think there was anything serious, he got away with it and continued to play. We’re very happy about that, that’s for sure.”
Zuccarello rug scored two goals and an assist, and Matt Boldy and ryan hartmann each had a goal and an assist for Minnesota (22-10-2), which has won three in a row. Kaapo Kahkonen made 39 saves.
“I think we played the last three games very well,” said Zuccarello. “Everyone was [mad]. We’ve lost five in a row. So you have to come back and we got a huge win in Boston and we kind of got a huge win here against Washington and we just kept rolling. Today, the puck bounces in our direction, we score good goals and it feels good when it’s like that. »
Max Comtois and Trevor Zegras each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim (19-14-7), which is 2-5-2 in its last nine games. Antoine Charpentier allowed six goals on 29 shots, and Lucas Dostal made 12 saves on 13 shots in relief.
“It’s really tough coming back to these teams,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I don’t think they’re completely out of a game, but you definitely don’t want to play from behind.
“We can’t give up seven goals and hope to win. … We have to be more focused.”
The Wild scored three goals in the opening 2:05 of the third period: Boldy scored against the Ducks defenseman cam fowler at 30 seconds to make it 4-1; Zuccarello split the Anaheim defense on the face-off at center ice to make it 5-1 at 34 seconds; and Victor Rask made it 6-1 at 2:05.
Video: ANA@MIN: Boldy, Zuccarello and Rask all score in 3rd
Boldy and Zuccarello’s goals were the second-fastest in Wild history, and the fastest with a keeper in the net for both. Jim Dowd and Richard Park hold the record, scoring three seconds apart on January 21, 2004, in a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Park scored in an empty net.
Kevin Fiala gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 7:25 of the first period, marking Boldy’s first NHL assist. Hartman extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:52 by beating the puck in the air after a cross pass from Zuccarello.
Comtois scored from the right circle at 11:39 to make it 2-1.
Kaprizov won a battle along the boards and gave Zuccarello a no-look pass for a point shot to give Minnesota a 3-1 lead at 14:59.
“It’s so nice to see ‘Zuccy’ shoot, isn’t it? Because he doesn’t,” Evason said. “He’s got such a quick release… He’s a go-first guy. Obviously, he sees the ice very well, but when he does, it will open things up not only for him, but also for Kirill and ‘Hartzy’. Real nice goal.”
Video: ANA@MIN: Zuccarello and Kaprizov make it 3-1 in 1st
Derek Grant redirected a pass from Jamie Drysdale to make it 6-2 at 4:39 of the third period, and Zegras tipped a pass from Fowler at 6:06 to make it 6-3.
Matt Dumba scored with an instant shot at 11:47 to make it 7-3.
“It’s great,” Dumba said. “All parts of our game weren’t so good tonight. But we definitely executed. It’s great to get the third (win in a row).”
REMARKS: Ducks forward sonny milano left at 7:24 of the first period with an upper body injury. No updates were provided. …Anaheim Forward Troy Terry has been placed in the NHL COVID-19 protocol. … Kaprizov has 10 points (four goals, six assists) during his five-game point streak. … Zuccarello has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak. … Hartman leads the Wild with 16 goals and is an NHL record plus-29. …before wild Brandon Duhaime had two shots on goal and a hit in 10:53 of ice time, and forward Jordan Greenway had three hits in 13:24, after missing two games apiece in protocol. … Ducks forward Sam Carrick had a shot on goal in 14:26 after missing four games under protocol.