DENVER – Zach Parise called it "useless" for the Wild to peek at the standings coming out of a COVID-19 shutdown.
But the team should like what it sees now.
The Wild has made up meaningful ground in the West Division, resuming its season with eight out of a possible 10 points from a five-game road trip after shrugging off the Avalanche 6-2 on Wednesday to extend its season-longest win streak to four.
"Since we've been back, we've won games that we needed to win," Parise said. "It's nice to have those games at-hand, but you have to win them. We've done that."
This relaunch will be remembered for lifting the Wild back into the race for one of four playoff berths in the West Division, drawing within three points of the top spot after beginning nine back.
It also will be remembered for kick-starting the offense.
After identical 6-2 outcomes in the final two tests on the trip, the Wild has scored 20 times over the past four games and the contributions are coming from throughout the lineup with 17 players picking up points during the run.
Parise broke out of a nine-game goalless funk for his 800th career point, Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman had two-point efforts for the second game in a row — including combining on the game-winning shorthanded goal — and rookie Nico Sturm buried his first two regular-season goals in the NHL.
"Chances we felt like we were missing early in the season, we're connecting on them," Parise said. "That's been the difference."
Had the offense not surged to this level, goalie Kaapo Kahkonen might have received some of the limelight. He backstopped the Wild the entire trip and has blocked 103 of the past 109 shots he faced after a 30-save night against Colorado.
"We have a really good thing going," Kahkonen said.
The Kirill Kaprizov, Victor Rask and Mats Zuccarello line also continued to deliver, opening the scoring 9 minutes, 44 seconds into the first period when they broke out for a 3-on-1 that Zuccarello buried with a shot from along the goal line.
With the goal, Zuccarello registered his 400th career point and pushed his goal streak to three games, matching his career best. He has nine points in his past four games after adding an assist in the third period. He also became the sixth player in Wild history to score the team's first goal in three consecutive games.
Rask has five points during a three-game point streak and Kaprizov has six on his three-game run. Kaprizov continues to lead NHL rookies and the Wild in scoring with 15 points.
He also became the first Wild rookie to tally three consecutive multipoint games. The line has 19 points in three games together.
The Wild spent more than half the second period without a shot, and the Avalanche took advantage with J.T. Compher tying the score off a rush at 7:21.
Finally, at 12:31, the Wild rediscovered its groove with a slump-busting goal from Parise, who tipped in a Matt Dumba shot set up by Foligno.
Parise is the 21st active NHL skater, 18th U.S.-born skater and third Minnesota native to hit the 800-point plateau.
"It was nice to see one go in," Parise said.
The Wild was re-energized after that, with Foligno one-timing in a pass from Hartman at 15:11 for his first shorthanded goal with the Wild.
On its next power play, Colorado was the one that capitalized after Nazem Kadri scored on a rising shot three minutes into the third period.
But again, the Wild responded.
Hartman connected on a backhander at 11:56 for six points over a career-high four-game point streak. Only 1:03 later, Sturm scored his first career regular-season goal on a breakaway before burying another into an empty net at 17:32.
"We feel pretty good about the way we've been playing," Parise said, "and the direction that we're going."