KANATA, Ontario – While he could still be voted in by the fans, Zach Parise didn't pass the NHL selection process to get invited to the All-Star Game, missing out on the acknowledgment that gets heaped on the league's most talented.
But the Wild winger is certainly making a case for a different superlative: team MVP.
Parise, and his line with center Charlie Coyle and winger Luke Kunin, continued their dynamic play of late, with the 34-year-old's three-point effort — which featured the decisive goal — helping spark a 4-3 rally over the Senators on Saturday afternoon in front of 14,124 at Canadian Tire Centre.
The victory improved the team to 2-0 on its four-game road trip.
"That's the last thing on my mind right now," Parise said of the All-Star festivities. "We're trying as hard as we can to turn this thing around and string some wins together. Another come-from-behind, good road win for us."
This was the second straight game Parise delivered the game-winner, his team-leading 19th goal. He also capped off the 4-3 comeback over the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
He has nine points, including four goals, during a five-game point streak.
His line had a hand in two of three second-period goals that seized control for the Wild after a poor start. The Senators dominated the shot tally early, but the pressure culminated in only one goal.
After exiting the penalty box, center Matt Duchene split the Wild's defense and deked around a pinching Devan Dubnyk to deposit the puck into an empty net at 19 minutes, 6 seconds of the first period.
Dubnyk finished the period with 14 of his 24 saves, buoying the team until it took over in the second.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon tied it when he unleashed a backhander past Ottawa goalie Anders Nilsson.
The Senators regained the lead when center Ryan Dzingel redirected a Bobby Ryan pass in at 8:08, but like it did before, the Wild had a reply. Rookie Jordan Greenway was left unguarded in front, and his heave toward the net eventually trickled by Nilsson at 14:10.
A brief 2:21 later, Spurgeon broke the stalemate with his third goal in two games, a span in which he's posted five points. His shot from near the goal line, set up by Coyle and Parise, managed to roll past Nilsson.
And 6:07 into the third, Parise buried the puck back door to put the Wild up 4-2, a tally that looked like insurance until Mark Stone scored on a redirection at 10:10. Nilsson ended up with 22 saves.
"I just floated around on the back side and got the reward," Parise said. "But [Coyle and Kunin], like they were doing all night and have been doing, they work. They just chase the puck down. When we give it away, we get it back. It's fun hockey to play."
Coyle pushed his season-high point streak to four games with two helpers and has six points during that run. Kunin chipped in two assists to boast four in his past four games.
"Right now, that's our go-to line," coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The lift couldn't have come at a better time.
Since the line was united after the holiday break, the three have racked up six goals and 19 points. In the past four games, which have produced three Wild wins and 13 goals after the team struggled to post five in its previous five, the line has been responsible for half of the points earned by Wild players (18 of 36) — a spike spearheaded by Parise.
"We wish he could be [at the All-Star Game] just for the recognition that he deserves," Coyle said. "But he's so driven so whether that happens or not, he's here for the team. The task at hand, that's for us to string some wins together and get back on track. That's what's important to him."