Kaprizov leads Wild to big win over Oilers
Minnesota winger stretched his career-long point streak to 10 games in the process
ST. PAUL — Kirill Kaprizov made himself very clear over the weekend. Asked if he likes playing against some of the other superstars in the league, Kaprizov responded in the affirmative before replying, “It’s even better to win against them.”
That’s no easy task against Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
On Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center, though, Kaprizov proved he was up to the challenge. He scored a goal and an assist to lead the Wild to a 5-3 win over the Oilers. He also stretched his career-long point streak to 10 games in the process.
Though the Wild defended pretty well in the first period, Draisaitl helped the Oilers take control, wiring a shot into the back of the net on the power play to make it 1-0.
That score held into the second period where Kaprizov finally created a scoring chance with a shot in front and Joel Eriksson Ek cleaned up the trash to tie the game at 1-1. That marked nine straight games with an assist for Kaprizov as he broke a franchise record set by Jim Dowd in 2002.
It wasn’t long before the Oilers’ dynamic duo struck again, as McDavid potted a feed from Draisaitl on an odd-man rush to make it 2-1. Frankly, the ease with which McDavid and Draisaitl connected was borderline unfair.
Luckily for the Wild, they have a superstar of their own in Kaprizov, and he rose to the occasion once again.
After accepting a pass from Matt Boldy on the power play, Kaprizov leveled the score at 2-2 with an impressive effort. That goal interrupted a Skol chant started by Vikings players Adam Thielen, Brian O’Neill, Garrett Bradbury and Blake Proehl, who were shown on the big board.
Not long after that, Freddy Gaudreau did his best Kaprizov impression, showcasing his silky mitts and scoring a pretty goal to make it 3-2 in favor of the Wild.
The separation goal came early in the third period as Sam Steel finished off a perfect pass to stretch the Wild lead to 4-2. Mats Zuccarello added a goal for good measure to make it 5-2.
That was more than enough for Marc-Andre Fleury, who finished with 18 saves, including an incredible denial on the doorstep with the game hanging in the balance. He allowed a cheap goal in the waning seconds to finalize the score at 5-3.
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