– For the Wild to take that next step in the elite Central Division, it strives to become a team with three lines that can score.

Heading into back-to-back road games against the Rangers and Bruins, they might have found four, thanks to the second line finally joining the party.

After four mostly quiet games from Mikko Koivu and Thomas Vanek, coach Mike Yeo threw Charlie Coyle onto the line to help ignite the veterans. Yeo explained before Thursday’s game against Arizona that besides Coyle taking his game to a new level the first four games, the youngster looked like he gained a step or two in the offseason. The hope was that speed on the right side would benefit Koivu and Vanek.

In wins over Arizona and Tampa Bay, Vanek assisted on three goals and Koivu got off the schneid with his first point of the season courtesy of a first-period goal in Saturday’s 7-2 beatdown of the Lightning.

Koivu, as proud an athlete as you’ll ever meet, admitted five scoreless games got him thinking a bit too much.

“Let’s be honest, if you should be scoring and you’re not able to do it, you’re starting to think why it’s not going in and if I’m doing anything wrong,” Koivu said. “But I’ve been feeling like we were playing the right way, we keep getting chances, we keep creating.

“So with experience too, as long you just stick with it and keep doing the right things, eventually it’s going to go in. I’m a big believer in that.”

The next hope is Vanek scores his first goal with the Wild. In fact, with a 5-1 lead and Vanek leading a 2-on-1 with defenseman Jared Spurgeon on Saturday, Yeo was yelling from the bench for Vanek to “Shoot! Shoot!”

“And then he makes that pass, I’m like, ‘Good play,’ ” Yeo said, smiling. “Apparently we don’t think the game the same way offensively, and that’s probably a good thing for him.”

Yeo knows how important it is to get Koivu and Vanek going. He doesn’t want to break up the Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville line. Parise leads the team in scoring and loves playing with Granlund, surprisingly scoreless in the past five games, and Pominville, who is tied with Spurgeon for second on the team with five points.

And even though Yeo has switched the right wing on the third line by flipping Justin Fontaine with Coyle, he truly believes a duo of Nino Niederreiter and Erik Haula gives that line the dual threat of being a shutdown line with offensive ability.

That was displayed Saturday when Niederreiter and Haula connected for the game-winner and helped limit Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos to two shots.

“It’s a pride thing,” Haula said of his checking-line center role. “It’s an important position on the team. It’s the type of role where you see some of the better players in the league, so my positioning and speed is key. You get one step behind, you’re behind.

“So the key for us is to have the puck. If they don’t have the puck, it’s hard to score.”

The best defense is when you play with the puck in the offensive zone, and that third line has such a compelling makeup. Niederreiter is a shooter and has the size to protect the puck along the wall. Haula has lethal speed and is a terrific two-way player, as is Fontaine, who has great hockey sense and has been a scorer at all levels.

The biggest evidence of the Wild turning into a four-line team is the fact its leading goal scorer, Jason Zucker, resides on that fourth line. Matt Cooke is on the left side and center Ryan Carter has three assists in the past four games. Zucker has four goals in six games, equaling the amount he had in each of the past two seasons in 20 and 21 games respectively.

“I’m real pleased with how [Zucker’s] coming along,” Yeo said.

Parise’s impressed how all the Wild’s youngsters are coming along. Besides adding to the Wild’s impressive depth, they allow the Wild to play a fast-paced, puck possession game.

“This is not an easy league to break into,” Parise said. “They’re working hard and they’re hungry to get better. Everyone’s watching how much more confident they’re playing with the puck. For our team, that’s really important. We play fast and we play with the puck and we have the type of team to do that.”