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Wild's streak reaches five games with 3-1 win over Kings

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune on

Published in Hockey

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Someone's win streak had to come to an end.

It wasn't the Wild's.

In a seamless return home from a successful road trip, the Wild powered past the Kings, 3-1, Friday at Xcel Energy Center to extend their season-long win streak to five games while halting Los Angeles' at six.

Goalie Cam Talbot was almost unbeatable in his first start since Feb.2 following an absence on the NHL's COVID-19 list, picking up 27 saves.

In front of him, the Wild offense used a three-goal surge on three straight shots in 3 minutes, 3 seconds to put the game out of reach.

First up was — who else? — but rookie Kirill Kaprizov with one of the most impressive goals of his young NHL career at 12:33 of the first period.

 

After his initial shot hit the side of the net, Kaprizov scooped up the rebound, veered around the goal and then wrapped the puck behind Kings goalie Jonathan Quick from his knees since he fell to the ice as he was being chased by defender Drew Doughty.

The finish moved Kaprizov's career-high point streak to four games — a span in which he has two goals and five assists. Overall, his 16 points pace the Wild and all NHL rookies.

With an assist on the goal, Kaprizov's linemate Mats Zuccarello has 10 points during a five-game point streak, which is the longest by a Wild player this season. And their line with center Victor Rask is up to 21 points in their last four games.

Only 58 seconds later, the Wild scored again and this time it was the fourth line capitalizing on a fortuitous hop, with Nick Bjugstad burying the puck after it bounced out into the slot off the end boards. The goal was the 100th of Bjugstad's career, and he's the 27th all-time and eighth active Minnesota native to reach the plateau. All three of the Blaine native's tallies this season have come on home ice.

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