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Recap: Wild dismembers Kraken, earns 6-3 win

Led by their two star wingers, Minnesota earns a powerful win.

NHL: APR 22 Kraken at Wild Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sometimes, it takes an egregious error to wake up a team and completely change the projected result of the game. The Minnesota Wild learned that tonight as they hosted the Seattle Kraken and the first taste of scoring in the game was solely caused by a substantial mess up from goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

And if the error-caused goal wasn’t enough the Kraken scored again within the first 10 minutes of the game, putting the Wild in a two-goal hole in a game that they were expected to come out with an easy victory in. It was certainly a shock to their system. A jolt to our collective confidence in this team, but ultimately a result that we could swallow and justify by saying they were waiting to put the real effort in when it is the post-season in less than two weeks — but we didn’t even need to do that.

Less than six minutes after Seattle scored its second goal, Joel Eriksson Ek was able to score his 22nd goal of the season on the power play and break the seal.

Assisting on the goal was Kirill Kaprizov, earning his 98th point of his season and edging closer to that number that we all know he would hit eventually.

To open up the second period, Eriksson Ek decided to add to the game again and solely equalize the score.

It was extremely good and nice to see Eriksson Ek get back on the score sheet and see someone other than Kevin Fiala or Kaprizov get the goals. And as soon as I had that thought in my head, Kaprizov deflected a Fiala shot to score his 99th point and 45th goal.

And then the flood happened. Wave after wave of offense like we have been accustomed to this team doing every now and again. It was unrelenting. And then, finally, with an assist on this Ryan Hartman goal to put the Wild up 4-2, Kaprizov earned his 100th point this season and became the first Minnesota player to ever do so.

With that momentum and in celebration of Kaprizov’s milestone, the Wild just kept on scoring and did not care. Mats Zuccarello got in on the fun less than two minutes after Hartman’s tally and Kirill earned his 101st point for the effort as well.

And in case you thought just the top lads were scoring, Nicolas Deslauriers weaved his way through some defenders and managed to put the puck in the back of the net to earn Fiala his fifth assist of the game, which is its own franchise record.

Matty Beniers ended up making the Wild’s blowout seem not like a total blowout by scoring the Kraken’s third goal of the game, but in the end it did not matter. Minnesota earns the 6-3 win.

Fiala led the entire team in points earned with his five assists; Kaprizov earned a goal and three assists; Eriksson Ek got his two goals and an assist to boot; while no blueliners earned any points, only four forwards (Duhaime, Bjugstad, Gaudreau, and Dewar) were left without points.

Next up, the Wild travel to play the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

Burning Questions

Will Fleury establish himself as the Game 1 starter?

Well, it definitely doesn’t help that if the Wild’s offense didn’t suddenly explode, we would be pinning a loss or any dropped points on Fleury and his error in the first few minutes of the game to open the scoring. But considering he was able to come back and still save 25 of the 28 shots he faced, he can be considered adequate. Not sure if it’s strong enough to have head coach Dean Evason put him in Game 1 with no doubts, but it’s just another game and another win for Fleury.

Can we get some depth scoring?

It might not have been the complete all-around performance from the Wild, but we did get some Eriksson Ek goals, a goal from Nicolas Deslauriers of all people, and the wealth distributed among the top forwards. Is that complete depth scoring? No, but it’s something.

Minnesota is still being led by its stars in Kaprizov and Fiala, and while it might work for now, if they go quiet or are suppressed against the St. Louis Blues in the first round, then other options will need to rise to the surface.

Inspired by Ryan Hartman’s generosity, feel free to donate to Children’s Minnesota as they continue their effort and support, especially during this time as they continue their effort to support trans kids through their Gender Health Program. Feel free to donate here.