It didn't repair the past, and there's no guarantee the same will happen in the future.
But a dizzying yet definitive rally by the Wild in which it roared back in the third period to shrug off the Jets 4-2 Friday in front of an announced 19,116 at Xcel Energy Center stirred hope for the present that maybe this isn't a team destined to repeat history but rather one with the potential to wade into uncharted territory.
"Obviously, we're disappointed with how it transpired last spring," center Eric Staal said. "But it's a new year. You continue to just work toward the common goal this season. But there's a little bit more of a rivalry, for sure, with those guys. It was our rink, and momentum shifted. We took advantage."
This didn't have the feel of an ordinary November game, not when this was the first regular-season meeting with the Jets since they dumped the Wild 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs in April.
Since then, Winnipeg has tightened its grip on the contender label, reappearing as a juggernaut in the Central Division.
And that's why this reunion held extra significance, paving the way for the Wild to pocket a statement victory that seemed to legitimize the strides it has taken in reaching the 30-point mark after 23 games.
Staal was the architect of the game-winner for a second straight contest, a span in which he's scored three times. He whacked in a rebound with 2 minutes, 31 seconds to go in the third period.
But it was the play of a new-look line that stoked the comeback.
Winger Nino Niederreiter responded to a demotion to the Wild's fourth trio by wiring in his first even-strength goal in 36 games at 3:06 before setting up the tying goal at 11:47 — a bouncing puck that caromed off center Eric Fehr.
With 1:09 remaining, Zach Parise added an empty-net goal.
"I'm glad I helped out," Niederreiter said.
This late-game push came after an 0-for-6 showing on the power play, but give the Jets credit for stalling a Wild unit that had been on a tear of late. This was the first time in six games that the power play didn't convert.
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who totaled 35 saves, looked unbeatable through two periods while the Jets assembled a two-goal lead.
Winger Patrik Laine buried the rebound off a Tyler Myers point shot with 3:10 remaining in the first, and winger Nikolaj Ehlers scored on the power play at 18:57 of the second when his shot scooted five-hole on goalie Alex Stalock — who was ushered into duty with No. 1 Devan Dubnyk ill.
But the Wild was at its best in the third, with Niederreiter's goal breaking a 184:43 scoreless skid against the Jets that dated to the playoffs without factoring in the preseason.
"Once Nino scored," coach Bruce Boudreau said, "I think everybody on the bench thought we can score on [Hellebuyck]."
Tensions spiked in the third when defenseman Nick Seeler was pushed into the Jets' bench after confronting center Adam Lowry for an elbow on center Joel Eriksson Ek, igniting a fracas.
But the Wild harnessed that emotion to pull away and, ultimately, send a message.
"They had our number last year, but we wanted to get back and establish that we want to be the better team," said Stalock, who made 26 stops. "We're going to end up playing them in the playoffs at some point. So why not start now?"