LOS ANGELES – Changes were everywhere.
Crowd noise was piped in, the pregame hoopla was scaled back, and both benches were scrubbed down at intermission – all adjustments the NHL has made from the last regular season to resurrect itself in individual arenas during the middle of a pandemic for a shortened, 56-game schedule.
The Wild lineup was different, too, the brainchild of General Manager Bill Guerin's offseason maneuvering.
And the debut of this new look yielded a result the group was designed to achieve, a plucky 4-3 come-from-behind win in overtime against the Kings on Thursday night at Staples Center at the start of the team's season-opening four-game road trip.
These two West Division rivals will face off against Saturday in Los Angeles.
Rookie Kirill Kaprizov was the architect, scoring the game-winner in overtime and assisting on two other goals — a sensational NHL debut for the Russian winger.
He scooped up an errant pass to skate in alone on goalie Jonathan Quick and deked the puck into the net at 3 minutes, 47 seconds.
Before that, Kaprizov put the Wild's third-period rally in motion with his second smart setup of the night.
He fed Victor Rask for a shot that was redirected past goalie Jonathan Quick by Zach Parise at 3:15 to cut the deficit to 3-2.
And at 9:42, the Wild pulled even on a quintessential shift by Marcus Foligno.