Kirill Kaprizov netted one goal and three assists and Mats Zuccarello scored twice before departing the game after being victimized by a second-period slash to lead the host Minnesota Wild to a 7-1 victory over the struggling Winnipeg Jets on Friday in St. Paul, Minn.
Alex Goligoski, Ryan Hartman, Jon Merrill and Matt Dumba also scored for the Wild, and goaltender Cam Talbot made 30 saves to kick off a five-game homestand.
Pierre-Luc Dubois replied with Winnipeg’s lone goal in its most lopsided loss of the season. Starting goalie Connor Hellebuyck was pulled after surrendering four goals on 14 shots. Eric Comrie made 21 saves in relief for the Jets, who have lost five straight games.
Goligoski opened the scoring 52 seconds into the clash with the game’s first shot to send the Wild off and running. Brandon Duhaime gained the puck deep in Winnipeg territory and sent it to Goligoski at the point, and he sent a bounding wrist shot that found the net for his second goal of the season.
Zuccarello doubled the lead with a lucky marker at the 7:47 mark. He fired a long shot that went off Hellebuyck’s shoulder, off the post and then ricocheted off the goalie’s arm and into the net.
The Wild took complete control in the second period. Kaprizov’s shot off the rush was stopped but Hartman chipped home the rebound for his team-leading 11th goal at 2:04 of the period.
Zuccarello scored his second of the game, and sixth of the campaign, just 45 seconds later by tapping in an easy marker set up by Kaprizov, which spelled the end of the game for Hellebuyck. Zuccarello left the game late in the second period after he was slashed on the arm by Winnipeg’s Nathan Beaulieu, which wasn’t penalized.
The Wild were no kinder to Comrie. Merrill scored his second of the season just before the midway point by wiring a wrist shot from the top of the left circle and Dumba made it a 6-0 affair with a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle for his third goal of the season.
Dubois spoiled Talbot’s shutout bid with 4:52 remaining on the clock, but Kaprizov rounded out the scoring by netting his sixth goal of the season 14 seconds later.
–Field Level Media