Kirill Kaprizov extended his point streak in memorable fashion.
With the Wild trailing the Ducks and only 2 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in regulation, the winger buried his team-leading 15th goal to send the game to extra time, where the Wild finished their rally 5-4 in a shootout during a Saturday matinee at Xcel Energy Center.
Although his franchise-record nine-game assist streak expired, Kaprizov snagged his 18th point during his career-best 11-game point streak, which is one shy of tying the Wild record.
"He finds a way," Jordan Greenway said. "You gotta think the coaches are like, 'Stay with Kirill,' right? And he still finds a way to get open. It's crazy."
But Kaprizov isn't the only one who continues to make a difference in the offensive zone.
Take Joel Eriksson Ek, who tallied a goal and assist to post his eighth multipoint effort of the season and extend his point and assist streaks to five games; the assist run is the best of Eriksson Ek's career.
So is the center's string of six consecutive games with 10 or more faceoff wins.
"Defensively, offensively, he can do it all," Greenway said of Eriksson Ek, who's up to nine points during his five-game streak. "Penalty kill, power play, plays 20 minutes a night and brings it every night. He does it all."
Eriksson Ek's goal meant the power play capitalized for a fifth straight game, matching the season high, and that finish was put in motion by Calen Addison and Matt Boldy.
Addison's assist came after he opened the scoring for the Wild in the first period.
He has 13 points, and only four rookie defensemen in Wild history have registered more in a season: Filip Kuba (30), Kurtis Foster (28), Matt Dumba (16) and Carson Soucy (14).
As for Boldy, who later delivered the decisive shootout goal, his helper was the winger's seventh point during a five-game point streak that's the second longest of his career.
Back in action
Filip Gustavsson was idle for nine days before returning to the Wild crease on Saturday, but his layoff wasn't supposed to be that long.
Gustavsson was initially scheduled to start last Sunday vs. Arizona and ended up getting replaced by Marc-Andre Fleury after suffering an upper-body injury at practice the previous day.
"I think the past three days it's been feeling good on the ice, and I haven't felt it at all," Gustavsson said. "[Saturday] I was out there playing like I did the past couple of games."
After stopping 27 pucks in regulation and two more in overtime, Gustavsson went 3-for-4 in the shootout against Anaheim to improve to 4-1-1 over his past six appearances.
The only Ducks player to score in the shootout was Trevor Zegras, who approached the net slowly before a backhand shot after a series of dekes.
"They're trying to make the goalies skate backwards to get too deep in the net," Gustavsson said. "You kind of have to stand your ground there and try to be as patient as possible. Then usually they speed up pretty quick, so you kind of have to get your speed really quick.
"It's the new trend. I guess it works. A lot of goalies have trouble with that."
Without a clutch play from captain Jared Spurgeon in overtime, the Wild might not have advanced to the shootout.
Spurgeon interrupted a Troy Terry breakaway after closing the gap on an impressive backcheck and then stretching out for a stick jab that knocked the puck away from Terry.
"I didn't see him at first," Gustavsson said. "It was such a long breakaway, like from the far blue line, so I was taking my time getting set up there. Then I saw some Superman dive there with the stick, and I was like, 'Oh, Spurgy.' It was nice for him to have that speed to come back."
Spurgeon said he was just trying to get a piece of Terry's stick.
"There's no way he's getting back, like no way," Wild coach Dean Evason said, "and then you look up next time and the puck's in the corner. It's just phenomenal, phenomenal, and that's why he's the leader of our team."