The trio isn’t likely to remain intact since Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has winger Zach Parise pegged to resume his post on captain Mikko Koivu’s left side once Parise sheds an illness that knocked him out of the lineup Thursday.
But the revised look that slotted stand-in Charlie Coyle next to Koivu and Nino Niederreiter did an admirable job easing the sting of Parise’s absence, leading the Wild to a bounce-back performance against the Vancouver Canucks — a 6-2 exclamation point in front of an announced 19,014 at Xcel Energy Center. The Koivu line had three goals and five points in the team’s 11th win in its past 14 games.
“It’s always tough if we don’t have him in the lineup,” Niederreiter said of Parise. “But it’s obviously great we had a chance to step up and do some good things out there.”
Parise wasn’t at the arena in the morning and although he felt better in the afternoon, his condition deteriorated after a nap and the Wild told him to stay at home. Boudreau is hopeful Parise practices Friday but acknowledged it’d be tough for him to play Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres if he’s recovering in bed instead.
Should that be the case, the Niederreiter-Koivu-Coyle combination could get the chance to build off a strong display that set the tone for a perfect response to the 5-2 dud Tuesday to the Washington Capitals.
Not only did the Wild improve to 6-1-2 on home ice, but it also tied the 2013-14 team for the most points (26) in franchise history through 19 games.
“The way the Caps beat us was definitely not fun,” Niederreiter said. “We made sure we came out strong and prove ourselves and go right back on track.”
Coyle started the parade of goals just 5 minutes, 37 seconds into the first period after he went to his backhand on a breakaway to end a 10-game goal drought.
“You simplify it from the start, it makes it easier to get to your game,” Coyle said.
Only 2:06 later, Vancouver goalie Richard Bachman’s errant pass from behind the net landed right on the stick of Koivu, who scored into an open net during a power play. It was Koivu’s 197th career goal and second in as many games.
He factored in his fifth straight goal, dating back to Tuesday’s game, after setting up Niederreiter on the power play 1:46 into the second for a nifty redirect in the slot. The Wild finished a spotless 2-for-2 with the man advantage.
Koivu’s three points give him 10 in his past six games.
“As long as you’re creating, you’re getting chances, eventually it will go in, and I think that’s been the case,” he said.
Vancouver trimmed its deficit with its only power-play goal in six tries at 6:26, a shot from center Bo Horvat, but the Wild quickly reinstated its three-goal cushion 36 seconds later when center Eric Staal converted on a wrap-around.
The Wild added another goal on a point shot from defenseman Matt Dumba at 13:12.
Dumba’s second goal in two games gave him seven on the season, second most among NHL defensemen.
In the third, winger Jason Zucker sent a Staal feed top shelf at 5:27 to seal a season-high sixth goal for the Wild; defenseman Ryan Suter also earned an assist on the play — his second of the game.
Vancouver answered back only 26 seconds later when center Markus Granlund pounced on a loose puck in front.
Dubnyk pocketed 25 saves; Bachman had 23.
Overall, 11 different Wild players tallied at least a point.
“We were on top of our game,” Koivu said.