Kevin Fiala scored his first NHL hat trick, and real hats rained down on the ice.
In only its second game in front of an announced 3,000 at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild treated its fans to a scoring bonanza that ended up in the record books — running away 8-3 from the Avalanche on Wednesday night to snap Colorado's NHL-best 15-game point streak.
"To see the hats on the ice," Fiala said, "it was very fun."
Fiala's three goals highlighted a career-high four-point game, Kirill Kaprizov had two goals and an assist and captain Jared Spurgeon tallied three assists while the power play racked up a season-high four goals in five chances.
Overall, the eight goals by the Wild tied the franchise high for a fifth time. This was the Avalanche's first regulation loss since March 8.
"Maybe give a little statement and show them we can play against you guys if we're going to meet them in the playoffs," Fiala said.
The Wild's first power play goal came four minutes into the first when Kaprizov redirected in a Victor Rask pass, the fourth time in the past five games the rookie has scored the Wild's first goal.
At 13:15, the Wild doubled its lead on Luke Johnson's first NHL goal — a shot off the rush set up by Kyle Rau.
"A night I'll never forget," Johnson said.
Before the period ended, Fiala went top shelf on Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer to extend his point streak to seven games, the longest on the Wild this season. During that run, Fiala has five goals and six assists.
This was only the second time this season the Avalanche had surrendered three or more goals in the first period, but Colorado didn't crumble.
Only 34 seconds into the second, Nathan MacKinnon scored on the power play.
Ryan Hartman answered back at 4:37 when he intercepted a Devon Toews pass and deposited the puck behind Grubauer for his second goal in as many games.
Only 40 seconds later, Andre Burakovsky buried a loose puck in front past goalie Cam Talbot. And then at 9:42, Mikko Rantanen's power-play goal made it 4-3.
But the Wild exited the second up 5-3, and it had the once-maligned power play to thank for the cushion.
Kaprizov scored his second of the game at 13:38 during a MacKinnon slashing penalty, becoming the first Wild rookie to record two power-play goals in a game. Spurgeon's assist on the play was his third of the game, and all came on the power play. He became the second defenseman in Wild history to record 100 career assists on the power play.
In all, the Wild has 13 power-play goals over the past 15 games; the Avalanche finished 2-for-7.
"We're just trying to simplify and move the puck quick," Spurgeon said.
In the third, Fiala capitalized again at 4:24 on a strong individual — getting off a blistering shot while being hounded by the Avalanche's Jacob MacDonald.
Joel Eriksson Ek made it 7-3 at 7:18, and then Fiala capped off his first career hat trick on the power play at 7:56 — a celebration that included hats hitting the ice.
Rask assisted on the goal, his third of the game.
As for Kaprizov, he also earned another assist for his third career three-point night, which is the most by a Wild rookie in a season in team history. Kaprizov has nine points in his past eight games and continues to lead the Wild and NHL rookies in goals (16) and points (34).
Talbot ended up with 29 stops, while Grubauer made 11 before getting pulled after Eriksson Ek's goal.
This was the third time the Wild has scored eight goals — on only 19 shots — at Xcel Energy Center.
"We played tonight how we have to against a team like that," Hartman said.