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Wild's winning streak reaches season-long five games with 5-2 victory over Devils

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune on

Published in Hockey

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello formed the Wild's best line before Zuccarello was hurt last week, and they regained that distinction during their reunion.

After a two-game break, the trio picked up where it left off with its fingerprints all over a 5-2 victory over the Devils on Thursday in front of 16,112 at Xcel Energy Center that pushed the Wild's win streak to a season-high five games.

Kaprizov scored twice, his first multi-goal game of the season, and added an assist, while Hartman picked up a goal and two helpers and Zuccarello one assist in a seven-point showing for the line.

This marked the fourth straight outing the Wild has racked up at least four goals, which has happened 13 times overall through 23 games. Only the Panthers have more four-plus goal outcomes at 14.

Zuccarello was sidelined the last two games after getting slashed on the hand last Friday vs. the Jets, but Kaprizov and Hartman continued to produce without him — combining for two goals and six points while Zuccarello healed up.

"You go on rolls where you feel good and everything goes in and every pass you make seems like a good pass," Zuccarello said before puck drop. "I'll just try to step in and don't ruin their good steam. Just trying to help out."

 

Mission accomplished.

That line delivered the evening's first goal 8 minutes, 49 seconds into the first period when Hartman sent a cross-ice pass to Kaprizov, who fended off a New Jersey defender before lifting the puck by goaltender Mackenize Blackwood.

Wild backup goalie Kaapo Kahkonen, who was making a second consecutive start, earned the other assist on the play, the first of his career. He's the 10th goaltender in Wild history to record an assist.

Only 2:20 later, the Wild scored again after Rem Pitlick scooped up a turnover and wired the puck behind Blackwood for his fifth goal of the season.

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