ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Mike Yeo walked out to the ice with 30 seconds left in the second intermission, his players sitting on the bench getting ready for the puck drop on the second period.
The Wild coach didn't take his usual position behind them.
He began shouting animatedly up and down the bench like a drill sergeant in an attempt to jolt his army out of its first 20-minute siesta.
Down 2-0. One measly shot on goal. It just wasn't good enough as the Wild stared a 1-3 homestand in the face with maybe his job hanging on Saturday's result.
Whether Yeo's orders kicked the Wild to attention or not, the Wild erupted with four second-period goals -- three on the power play -- and rallied past the Washington Capitals, 5-3, behind defenseman Ryan Suter's first career hat trick.
Suter, who scored two power-play goals 42 seconds apart in the second period, became the first Wild defenseman to record a hat trick. Suter, after taking a third-period penalty, emerged from the box for an all-defenseman 2-on-1.
He took Clayton Stoner's pass and whistled it by rusty Caps goalie Braden Holtby, who at that point had given up five goals on 10 shots.
It was the 16th hat trick in Wild history, and Suter was the eighth Wild player to do so. He was the first since Guillaume Latendresse on Jan. 16, 2010, and the first at home since Chuck Kobasew on Nov. 27, 2009.
With the Wild trailing 2-0, Nino Niederreiter got the comeback started 2:16 into the second period before Suter scored two quick power-play goals for a shocking 3-2 lead. After defenseman Mike Green tied the score on a fluky goal, Jason Zucker scored his first career power-play goal, making it 4-3 Wild heading into the third.
The Wild was outshot 30-11 (tied team record for fewest in game), but has won consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 2 and 5.
After Dany Heatley's slashing penalty midway through the second period, the Capitals scored two goals 17 seconds apart, the first on Marcus Johansson's power-play goal, the second when Green toe-dragged a puck by Matt Cooke before using Stoner as a screen to snap a shot past Backstrom.
The Wild was outshot 11-1 in the first and was booed off the ice. But the second was a completely different story as Minnesota scored a season-high four goals in a period.
The Wild, already skating seven players age 23 and younger, looked in deep trouble when captain Mikko Koivu was nailed by Nicklas Backstrom's dump-in from a few feet away. He had major trouble getting to the bench and left the game. The Wild already was playing without Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon because of foot injuries.
But minutes later, Kyle Brodziak drew a roughing penalty, and five seconds later, Karl Alzner airmailed a puck into the seats. That gave the Wild a 5-on-3 for 1:55.
Koivu, out of the blue, emerged from the tunnel for the faceoff, and in 63 seconds of ice time, Koivu assisted on both Suter's goals power-play goals. Both pucks sailed through screens, the second goal deflecting off defenseman John Carlson's shin.
The bad news is Koivu left the game late in the third, limping badly.
The Capitals tied the score when Green's dump-in ricocheted off the end boards, between the post and off Backstrom's pad.
But, this time, Mikhail Grabovski opened the door with a puck into the stands. The Wild's first power-play unit spent most its shift in the defensive zone, but the second unit got out and scored the go-ahead goal.
Zucker won an initial puck battle before the puck eventually made its way to Keith Ballard. Ballard's shot was redirected by Zucker for his second goal in two games. It was the second time in franchise history and first since 2007 that the Wild scored three power-play goals in a period.
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