The Wild didn't just receive a much-needed lift to its special teams.
This improvement came in its second-to-last tuneup, during a tight-checking game that mimicked the playoffs and against a team that plays similarly to its first-round opponent.
"We stepped up there ... and played how we want to play," defenseman Jonas Brodin said. "That's gonna be a huge part against St. Louis, to be good at those areas."
After the penalty kill went a perfect 4-for-4, the power play finished the job in overtime to pick up an impressive 3-2 victory over the Flames on Thursday night in front of 18,490 at Xcel Energy Center that bolstered the Wild's chances of clinching home-ice advantage in its upcoming series against the Blues.
"For our PK to perform the way it did and the power play to win the game for us, that's huge," goaltender Cam Talbot said, "and a big confidence boost going into playoffs for sure."
Kirill Kaprizov scored his 46th goal and fourth career overtime tally 44 seconds into the extra session, one-timing a Kevin Fiala pass during a 4-on-3 setup to post his 106th point of the season.
That enabled the Wild to capitalize on its game at hand over St. Louis, elevating the team to 111 points, so it ranks two ahead of third-place St. Louis in the Central Division on the brink of both teams' regular-season finale on Friday. The Wild's magic number to seal second is now down to a single point, which can be earned by the Wild or not banked by the Blues.
"Those two points were huge," Talbot said.
In his last scheduled start of the regular season, Talbot pocketed 31 saves to backstop the Wild to its ninth win during its past 12 games and 20th over the past 27. The team also set a record for home victories at 30.
"I was just going out there trying to play my game and trying to play the way I've been playing down the stretch here," said Talbot, who is 13-0-3 over his past 16 starts.
He also extended his point streak to a franchise-record 15 games (12-0-3) and has a 2.30 goals-against average and .920 save percentage to go along with two shutouts during that tear.
"Just trying to go out there and help the team win [Thursday]," Talbot said. "That was my focus."
More pressure and stronger battles in front of the net ignited the 26th-ranked PK, but Talbot also factored into the resurgence. He stopped four shots from Calgary's power play, which had one try in the first and three in the second after Johnny Gaudreau put a backhander over Talbot 2:59 into the period.
But the Flames' lead was short-lived.
On the power play, Brodin converted on a point shot at 6:02 while Marcus Foligno set a screen in front of Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom, who totaled 22 saves.
Then in the third, Frederick Gaudreau served up the go-ahead goal on a shot that crept Markstrom's right pad and under his blocker to cap off a two-point effort for Gaudreau, who assisted on Brodin's goal.
"Sometimes you don't really see the spots," Gaudreau said. "You can kind of figure out where you are on the ice, and it just happened fast. So, I got lucky on that."
But with 2:56 left in regulation, Elias Lindholm retaliated to call for overtime, where Calgary's Rasmus Andersson was whistled for closing his hand on the puck to give the Wild only its second power play of the game.
Out trotted four Wild forwards, with Fiala feeding Kaprizov after a Joel Eriksson Ek faceoff win — this after an awful 0-for-6 showing by the power play on Tuesday in a 5-3 letdown to the Coyotes.
"Big goal for us," coach Dean Evason said. "Good PK. Good PP. So, all around good."