Three shots that sailed wide and three giveaways, including an egregious one on the power play.
Even rookie phenom Kirill Kaprizov wasn't immune from the lackluster moments that plagued the Wild when the team reported for a Friday evening date with the Ducks that felt like a snoozefest compared to the playoff preview earlier in the week against the West Division-leading Golden Knights.
But then Kaprizov fished out another impressive skill from his toolbox, and that's the ability to rise above the adversity and deliver the most important play of the game.
Kaprizov scored 17 seconds into overtime to lift the Wild to a 4-3 win against Anaheim in front of 3,000 at Xcel Energy Center, his second career overtime clincher and team-leading 27th goal.
"He's a special player," said Joel Eriksson Ek, who handed off the puck to Kaprizov before Kaprizov charged up ice and buried his own rebound. "Every time he gets the puck, you can feel it in the arena. It's amazing the things he does."
This was the Wild's fourth overtime finish in its past five game, an electrifying ending to an otherwise sloppy display: the Wild fell behind early to the last-place Ducks and twice blew a lead, including in the third period, while mostly looking off in between.
"I don't think we played well at all," Ryan Suter said. "These are tough games. You play a team like Vegas and then play a team like tonight, and they really didn't have a lot to lose. They were coming at us, and I think we got caught into that — turning pucks over and trying to make fancy plays. We got away from playing the way that got us to this point in the season."
Anaheim was in control early and got rewarded for it, scoring on a breakaway by Max Comtois at 7:11 of the first.
Just 55 seconds later, Victor Rask one-timed in a pass from Kaprizov — a goal that gave Kaprizov his 22nd assist of the season, a new Wild single-season rookie record after he passed Filip Kuba's 21.
Kaprizov is on a three-game goal streak and five-game point streak, with five goals and three assists in that span. In his past 11 games, he has 14 points.
"He's just creating all the time, and it doesn't really matter who's close to him," Eriksson Ek said. "He can create a lot, and he's been really good for us."
Before the first period ended, the Wild moved ahead on a finish from the new-look fourth line.
With Zach Parise scratched, Nick Bonino, Nico Sturm and Nick Bjugstad combined on a tenacious forecheck before Bonino fed Sturm in the slot for a one-timer past Ducks goalie John Gibson at 18:26.
"When we had success was after a shift like that when we just played with the puck down low," Sturm said.
After Rask fell while skating near the goal line, Adam Henrique scooped up the loose puck and dumped it behind goalie Kaapo Kahkonen at 6:40 of the second.
That tie held until the third period, the first time in five games the Wild wasn't trailing in the third.
At 12:01, Eriksson Ek tucked in a rebound but the lead didn't last long. Derek Grant converted on a one-timer at 14:14.
The Wild had a power play for the final two minutes of regulation but didn't capitalize and went 0-for-3. On an earlier look, the Ducks almost scored shorthanded when Alexander Volkov skated in for a breakaway after a Kaprizov turnover. Kahkonen made the save, one of 22 on the night that helped push his win streak to four. Gibson had 32 stops. Anaheim went 0-for-1 on the power play.
"For the most part it, was a full team effort negatively," coach Dean Evason said. "It was a great goal obviously [by Kaprizov], but the goal was a shot and a rebound — same as how we should have tried to score our goals all night. Obviously happy with getting a win, but we have to play the right way."