GLENDALE, Ariz. – Wild winger Jordan Greenway gave the stick back once he returned to the bench, but defenseman Ian Cole figured his teammate would be asking to keep it.
"He's 1-for-1 with it," Cole said. "You can't beat that batting average."
After breaking his stick earlier in his shift, Greenway made a pitstop at the bench and accepted Cole's stick before going on a breakaway and scoring to open the floodgates in a 5-1 dismantling of the Coyotes Friday at Gila River Arena.
"That was a first," Greenway said.
Initially, no one wanted to give Greenway a stick and Cole noticed Greenway idling at the bench.
"He was just standing right in front of me," Cole said. "'Well, here you want mine? Take it.' And then he curls down and goes for a breakaway and scores. I think I might have [celebrated] harder than he did."
Cole guessed it was the first breakaway goal from one of his stick since his peewee days.
That Greenway was even able to get a shot off on net was impressive considering how different Cole's stick is from the one Greenway uses; he described it as a two-by-four that was 2 1/2 inches longer and "50 pounds" heavier.
But Greenway was still able to capitalize, going five-hole on Arizona goalie Antti Raanta.
"Now that I knew there were some goals in that stick, I really wanted it back," Cole said.
Another memorable goal from the night, aside from Nick Bjugstad's finish on a no-look, behind-the-back pass from rookie Kirill Kaprizov, was the game-winner from defenseman Brad Hunt.
A frequent scratch this season, Hunt took advantage of the ice time and scored his first goal of the season on a shot from the point that slipped through Raanta.
"He's dressed in every warm-up," coach Dean Evason said. "Even when he doesn't play, his positivity every single day – you see him come to the rink it doesn't matter if he's sitting, in or out or what happened, he's got a smile on his face. He's standing up on the bench, talking to the guys throughout the game.
"Yeah, it's certainly nice to see him get rewarded."
Most of the Wild's offense came in the first period, with the team jumping out to a 3-0 lead.
And once the team hits that threshold, it's usually unstoppable – going 13-1-1.
"Leadership" is what Evason chalked the attentive first period up to, explaining, "I think our leadership in the room has recognized that and adjusted and got each other ready. I think [captain Jared Spurgeon's] done a real good job of leading in that department, and coaches can talk until they're blue in the face about being ready to play. If the group isn't talking about it and doing the right things to prepare for the drop of the puck, then you can talk till you're blue in the face. Leadership's done a good job."
Despite how lopsided the score was, this was yet another strong showing by goalie Kaapo Kahkonen.
He made 24 saves to record his sixth straight win, a franchise record for a rookie goalie and a run in which he's stopped 152 of 162 shots.
Kahkonen leads NHL goalies in wins since Feb.18, and his six road victories are tied for the most in the NHL.
"He's such a good kid, and he's got a real bright future in this league that's for sure," Hunt said. "He just keeps it simple. He's not flashy by any means but when the save needs to be made, he does."