Collectively, they're often referred to as the "GREEF'' line, an acronym of the last names of the Wild's Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno, and grief is what the beefy, mobile trio can cause opponents. Coach Dean Evason even has referred to the line as the team's "identity.''

Problem is, that identity was broken up recently, with Greenway missing six games because of a lower-body injury. During that span, Foligno had one assist, Eriksson Ek no points and, most importantly, the Wild had a 1-5 record during a 2-8 stretch that put the team's playoff hopes, once seen as a shoo-in, in doubt.

Tuesday night, though, the GREEF line was back together with Greenway returning from his injury. And just like that, the line produced as the Wild defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 at Xcel Energy Center.

Foligno set up Eriksson Ek's first-period goal, had a helper on Kevin Fiala's go-ahead goal in the second period and scored to stretch Minnesota's lead to 4-2 in the middle frame. Greenway also assisted on Eriksson Ek's goal as the line combined for five points and had a plus-5 rating for a Wild team desperately craving a win. When all three are in the lineup, the Wild is 15-6-2 this season.

"Obviously getting Greener back for our line was huge,'' Foligno said. "We see the difference already with what he can bring to our team. We missed him dearly, so it was nice to have him back.''

The 6-6, 231-pound Greenway has four goals and 11 assists this season, and shortly after signing a three-year, $9 million contract extension on Jan. 31, he endured a stretch of eight games that produced only one point. Tuesday, he looked more like his old self, throwing his weight around.

"He's big, he talks a lot and cheers guys up,'' Eriksson Ek said, "so it's really important.''

Eriksson Ek, who has 17 goals and 12 assists this season, contributed on the scoresheet by winning nine of 15 faceoffs vs. the Rangers. That helped the line get its puck possession game going.

"We think the game pretty similar, and just playing with each other pretty much the whole season is helping,'' Eriksson Ek said. "You know what the other guys are thinking, where they're going, and it's been good. It's been fun.''

Foligno might have benefitted the most from the line's reunion. The 6-3, 226-pounder is having a career year with 19 goals and 12 assists through 51 games but was held to one point in a 12-game span and served a two-game suspension. The team's focus, he indicated, is key.

"You can't overlook teams. We did that a week ago and we got beat,'' Foligno said. "It's all fun now. We won a game. But we understand we have to go on a streak here.''

The challenge now for the Wild is to prove that Tuesday's result was the start of a path back to its winning ways from earlier in the season. That begins with a two-game trip to Detroit on Thursday and Columbus on Friday before the team returns for a nine-game homestand to end March.

"We've gotta back it up, right?'' Evason said. "We've gotta play the exact same way now consistently and just have that same effort. Because we had some success [Tuesday] doesn't mean it's going to continue. It's gotta continue because of how we play and how we prepare.''