The Wild played almost a month without one of their top defensemen, but an absence that long also meant Jonas Brodin returned at full strength.
"I'm 100 percent," Brodin said after the Wild held off the Capitals 5-3 in a Sunday matinee at Xcel Energy Center. "I think I could've played a little bit earlier, I think, but we took it slow and just waited until I'm 100 percent. So, I think that was a good choice."
Brodin suited up after being idle for 12 consecutive games, a timeout to rest a nagging lower-body issue.
After initially getting hurt Feb. 6 at Arizona, Brodin missed only two games before he resurfaced in the lineup. He then rattled off six straight games, helping the Wild rebound from a three-game losing streak by going 4-1-1 to salvage a key seven-game homestand.
"It kept getting worse and worse," he said of the injury.
While he was out, the Wild didn't sag, extending their franchise-record point streak to 14 games before it was extinguished on Saturday with a 5-2 loss to Boston. In the end, they went 8-1-3 without Brodin.
"There was no rush to get back, I feel like," Brodin said. "It's nice to come back and still win."
Although the results didn't vary much while Brodin was out of commission, the team did.
The Wild made all four of their trade acquisitions while Brodin was on the mend. He didn't know Gustav Nyquist or Oskar Sundqvist, but Brodin played internationally with John Klingberg and he and Marcus Johansson train together.
"A lot of Swedish guys in there right now," Brodin said.
Brandon Duhaime was sidelined for seven games in a row before drawing in on Sunday, but he didn't skate like he'd had that lengthy of a layoff.
"I feel like I didn't really miss a beat," he said. "Felt pretty good out there."
Duhaime's slick backhander in the third period was the eventual game-winning goal and his eighth overall this season. Four of those tallies have come in his last eight games, a stretch that was interrupted by an upper-body injury the winger suffered in a fight March 2 at Vancouver.
"Just being a little smarter and keeping a little more guard," Duhaime said about the situation. "Not being too risky with it. I'll know better next time."
With Brodin healed up and Jake Middleton back from a two-game hiatus due to illness, the Wild scratched Jon Merrill.
The veteran defenseman committed a pair of penalties in the game Saturday, and the Bruins scored on one of the ensuing power plays, but coach Dean Evason said that wasn't the reason why Merrill exited the lineup.
"We just had a difficult decision to make," Evason said, "and he just happened to be the guy."
Lakeville's Charlie Lindgren was in net on Sunday for the Capitals, his first NHL start at Xcel Energy Center.
The former St. Cloud State goaltender finished with 35 saves in his 28th game of the season.
"Before the game, I think I really tried to soak it in," Lindgren said. "I came to a lot of games growing up. So, yeah, felt awesome playing here but pretty upset with the way it ended."
Johansson and Sundqvist didn't finish the third period, but Evason said both players were evaluated and are fine.
Marcus Foligno missed a third consecutive game with a lower-body injury, but Evason said Foligno has a "real good opportunity" to suit up on Tuesday when the Wild kick off a two-game road trip at New Jersey. Evason figured Kirill Kaprizov (lower-body injury) and Nyquist (shoulder) wouldn't travel.