CHICAGO – An eyesore of a loss wasn't all Jesper Wallstedt hauled back to Iowa with him when he returned to the minors after the goaltender was blitzed in his NHL debut by the Stars.

He also brought plenty of motivation.

"I was just hungry," Wallstedt said.

Almost four months later, the Wild's top prospect finally feasted.

Wallstedt is the first Wild goalie to christen his first career victory with a shutout, stopping 24 shots to blank the Blackhawks 4-0 Sunday at United Center and stave off playoff elimination for the Wild.

At 21 years, 145 days, Wallstedt is the youngest Wild netminder to record a shutout, surpassing Josh Harding (21 years, 297 days), who also had a shutout in his second career appearance.

"It's pretty incredible to both feel and see the work I've put in since that day in Dallas," Wallstedt said, "and every single day that I've gone since then has really paid off."

The Wild's first-round draft pick in 2021, Wallstedt and the Wild didn't look like the same team that got blown out 7-2 by the Stars on Jan. 10.

In fairness, Chicago isn't Dallas, with the two teams at opposite ends of the Central Division. But the Wild were much more attentive in Wallstedt's do-over after he was promoted Saturday from the American Hockey League to join them on their five-game road trip.

"The first time, I think that game we kind of let him down and never want to do that to somebody," Frederick Gaudreau said. "Not playing in the NHL for a while after that, I'm sure that was hard mentally. So coming here, of course everyone wanted to be good and strong for him."

Not only did the Wild give up just five shots in the first period, Wallstedt faced only four high-danger scoring chances all game, according to Natural Stat Trick.

The Wild also didn't commit a single penalty while getting forward Ryan Hartman (suspension) and defenseman Zach Bogosian (injury) back.

Kirill Kaprizov scored twice for the second straight game to reach 41 goals, his third consecutive 40-goal season, and he added an assist for his 10th three-point performance that moved him into seventh place on the franchise's all-time scoring list at 323 points.

Kaprizov capitalized just 1 minute, 6 seconds into the second period with a one-timer on the power play (1-for-2) to extend his point streak to seven games.

Since Jan. 19, Kaprizov has a league-high 28 goals in 33 games.

At 12:30, he factored into Marco Rossi's 21st goal, a feed by Mats Zuccarello that Rossi buried to sit one behind the Blackhawks' Connor Bedard for the most goals among NHL rookies.

Then with 1:33 left in the second, Gaudreau tipped in a Bogosian shot.

Kaprizov converted again at 8:10 of the third, roofing a Brock Faber drop pass over Chicago goalie Arvid Soderblom, who had 33 saves.

BOXSCORE: Wild 4, Chicago 0

NHL standings

As for Wallstedt, he was calm, cool and collected.

And chatty.

"He was confident," Faber said. "The way he communicated from back there, we were talking about it on the bench. It's like he'd been here for a long time."

Coach John Hynes also noticed Wallstedt's confidence — "He looked real solid," Hynes said — but that's not all that changed for Wallstedt when he went 10-10-3 after rejoining Iowa.

"I was faster to get in position and get set there," said Wallstedt, whose dad Jonas, mom Helena and girlfriend Erika were in attendance. "That gives me a better chance to make a save and to also control the save."

He feels stronger mentally and better in tune with what he needs to do to keep his mind fresh during games.

"There's a lot of work that I put in," Wallstedt said, "and I felt it out there."

That all this culminated in a resounding success made Wallstedt happy. But he's not satisfied.

"Every game I get up here is a time to try to prove myself and show what I can do, show my development throughout this time," Wallstedt said, "and hopefully I just take day by day and take it game by game and try to prove that I'm ready and that I want to play here in this league."