Zach Parise required nine stitches to patch up the gash on his right cheek, the result of a high stick from teammate Nico Sturm on Friday night.
"He apologized right after and I told him, 'Don't worry about it,'" Parise said. "That stuff happens around here."
Parise's new facial feature isn't the only imprint his budding partnership has made.
Since assembling last week, Parise, Sturm and Nick Bonino have been the backbone of the three-game win streak the Wild carries into a road trip that begins Monday at Arizona. They're the latest line to headline the team's offense.
"Our line is getting good chances," Parise said. "We are getting hardworking chances and rush chances. We have been playing really well without the puck. We aren't spending a lot of time in our zone and that makes the game a lot easier, and all three of us are benefiting from that."
Early in the season, Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno were the Wild's best line, a pesky trio that flexed its size and strength to bulldoze a path to the net.
Then, Kirill Kaprizov, Victor Rask and Mats Zuccarello took over after dazzling with their skill and creativity.
Now, Parise, Sturm and Bonino have seized the spotlight, and their trademark is a relentless forecheck.
Take the goal Bonino scored Friday in the 3-2 victory over the Sharks. He capitalized on a San Jose turnover in the slot after Parise and Sturm pressured the Sharks into the mistake.
"We've spent a lot of time in their zone," said the rookie Sturm, who's playing center with Parise and Bonino on the wings. "It makes the game so much easier when you don't have to spend 20-25 seconds in your own end trying to get the puck. All that energy you can save if you just possess the puck in their zone."
In three games together, the line has chipped in six goals and combined for six assists. Parise has a goal in three straight games, Bonino is on a season-high three-game point streak and Sturm boasts a goal and assist. And three of the line's goals have been game-winners, clutch contributions that suggest the group's fourth-line categorization might be a misnomer.
"As a line, you want to earn more ice time and you want to force the coach to play you more because you're playing well," Parise said. "We have had a good stretch the last few games with the three of us."
The timing of this emergence is also noteworthy.
Depth scoring is important year-round, but it can separate teams in the playoffs. Finding a combination that clicks lower in the lineup is an encouraging development for the Wild with 13 games to go in the regular season, and the experience the likes of Parise and Bonino — a two-time Stanley Cup champion — bring could be an X-factor.
"He's played 1,000 games in this league," Bonino said of fellow veteran Parise. "He knows where to be. He's always at the net. You know when you shoot it, he's gonna be there for rebounds. He's gonna be there for screens. Obviously, has a ton of points, can make plays. [I] hadn't really had a chance to play with him much this year 'til now. So, I think it has been good.
"And Sturmy, he brings so much speed and strength. He's hard on pucks. He wins pucks, gets pucks back. So, it's been a good fit these last couple games."
Aside from scoring goals, what the three have also accomplished is establishing an identity as a line.
And consistently delivering that is another way for them to keep making an impact.
"It's always a bonus when every line scores," Bonino said. "But as long as guys are doing what they do best out there, it seems like when our team does that, we're winning these games."