ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Wild is off to a perfect 2-0 start after sweeping its two-game set in Los Angeles by identical 4-3 overtime wins, and the team won't make any changes to its lineup when it begins another series against the Ducks Monday night at Honda Center.
Victor Rask will go back to centering the top line after the forward groups were scrambled Saturday, and goalie Cam Talbot will make his third straight start to open the season after he backstopped the Wild to both late-game rallies against the Kings.
"It's great for a team to have that positive reinforcement as far as having success," coach Dean Evason said. "But there's a lot of things to be gained by adverse situations, as well. We put ourselves in a couple adverse situations, as well, and seen our group respond correctly. We certainly don't want to be down 3-1 at any point, so there's areas obviously that we've been able to correct video-wise and talking to people. But, yeah, I think it gives the group confidence going forward for sure."
Rookie Kirill Kaprizov headlined the team's strong debut, racking up four points over the two games, and he was recognized as the NHL's first star of the week.
One offensive catalyst who is still looking for his first point is Kevin Fiala, but the Wild is confident the winger will start to contribute offensively.
"We are in constant communication with him, use your teammates, do it together, all that good stuff," Evason said. "I don't think it's necessarily just Kevin. I think it's guys that have that skill set: they want to produce [and] they want to help their team. They feel like that's the way to do it.
"But the way that Kevin is helping his team [is] generating offense for other people. He's working, getting opportunities. He's a real good teammate. That's how he's helping his team right now. We have no question that points will come if he continues to do the right things."
Zach Parise-Victor Rask-Kirill Kaprizov
Marcus Johansson-Nick Bonino-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Nico Sturm-Nick Bjugstad-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon
Carson Soucy-Greg Pateryn
2-0-1: Record for the Wild in its last three games vs. the Ducks.
10: Points for the Wild defense through the first two games of the season.
.932: Save percentage for goalie Cam Talbot in his career against Anaheim.
2: Goals and five shots on net for defenseman Matt Dumba in the 4-3 overtime win over the Kings on Saturday.
198: Career assists for captain Jared Spurgeon.
About the Ducks:
Anaheim is off to a slow start, beginning 0-1-1 after a two-game series vs. Vegas. The Ducks fell 5-2 in the opener and 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Forward Max Comtois is responsible for all three of the team's goals. This is the Ducks' first home game at Honda Center. Last season, they were 16-15-5 on home ice.