ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Wild star Kirill Kaprizov was ‘well rested’ and ‘very motivated’ after ejection

Winger scores 2 goals in win over Anaheim.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov's shot is blocked by Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Anaheim, California. Kaprizov scored two goals in the Wild's 4-1 win.
Kiyoshi Mio / USA Today Sports

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Leave it to star winger Kirill Kaprizov to bust the Minnesota Wild out of their scoring slump.

After avoiding suspension, getting a $5,000 fine instead for roughing Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on Tuesday, Kaprizov scored a pair of goals Wednesday night as the Wild earned a 4-1 win over the Ducks. His first goal helped the Wild snap a goal drought that spanned nearly 160 minutes of regulation.

“It’s been frustrating for a team that usually scores a lot of goals,” said goaltender Filip Gustavsson, who made 31 saves for the Wild against the Ducks. “It was a big relief.”

Kaprizov’s performance didn’t surprise anyone on the Wild roster. Not after he got ejected from Tuesday night’s game in Los Angeles, a 1-0 loss to the Kings.

“He was very motivated, I think, with everything that went on last night,” coach Dean Evason said. “He was definitely ready to play.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The ejection came when Kaprizov swung his stick at Doughty following a physical play behind the net. Though it’s highly unlikely that Kaprizov was actually trying to use his stick as a weapon, he made contact with Doughty’s face in the process. That was enough for the officials to assess a match penalty, and Kaprizov left the game with nearly 25 minutes left in regulation.

The good news for the Wild is that it provided Kaprizov with some extra time to catch his breath. As defenseman Matt Dumba joked, Kaprizov looked “well rested” during the game against the Ducks. That allowed him to step up when the Wild needed him most.

“That’s what all-stars do,” said winger Joseph Cramarossa, who recently got called up from the minors. “He’s amazing. I hear a bunch of ‘wows’ every game I’ve been here. Just a great player.”

As the game progressed, the Ducks started to take liberties with Kaprizov, perhaps trying to goad him into doing something like he did the night before in Los Angeles. Whenever something like that happened, though, various Wild players came to Kaprizov’s defense before anything escalated.

“We had a nice discussion on that as well as a group,” Evason said. “Our message was that we stick up for every guy on our team. That’s what this group has always done. We did it here tonight, and we have to continue to do that.”

There’s no sense in having Kaprizov fight those battles, even if he’s more than willing to do it.

No, the Wild are at their best when Kaprizov is on the ice, absorbing contact and letting his play do his talking.

MORE MINNESOTA WILD COVERAGE:
NHL
The game hasn't been played in Toronto since 2000, the eighth time it had the honor. Toronto also hosted in 1934, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1962-64 and 1968.
NHL
Ovechkin and Crosby have been huge rivals throughout their careers, but the collaboration is a sign of how much they have put it in the past.
NHL
Boldy, 21, has 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 42 games this season, his second with the Wild.
NHL
Upcoming road trip features Washington, Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay.
NHL
After the Wild went for a line change in OT, the referees whistled them for too many men on the ice.
NHL
This year, the NHL is selecting one All-Star from every team and fans will vote for the final 12 players -- three more added to each division's roster. Those results are expected to be announced Jan. 19.
NHL
It would have been the frontrunner for goal of the year. Instead, it was a near miss, still worthy of a spot on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10.
NHL
With as many as 300 friends, family and Elk River community supporters there to see him, the former St. Cloud State star defenseman played his first NHL game in his home state.
NHL
He has been playing on a line with Freddy Gaudreau and Matt Boldy, and scored a pair of goals on Dec. 31 as the Wild defeated the Blues 5-2.
NHL
Former Gopher has impressed with play since call up.

“He’s going to make plays and find a way to find the back of the net,” Dumba said. “That’s what he expects out of himself. That’s what we’ve gotten used to. Sometimes we take it for granted. He’s an awesome player.”

ADVERTISEMENT

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA WILD
What to read next
NHL
William Carrier, Chandler Stephenson and Phil Kessel each had a goal and an assist, and the visiting Vegas Golden Knights held the Nashville Predators to a season-low 17 shots on goal en route to a 5-1 victory on Tuesday night.
NHL
Samuel Bolduc and Bo Horvat scored milestone goals and Ilya Sorokin stopped all 32 shots he faced Tuesday night for the host New York Islanders, who continued surging with a 4-0 win over the Seattle Kraken in Elmont, NY.
NHL
Warren Foegele scored two second-period goals, and the visiting Edmonton Oilers defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Tuesday night.
NHL
Frank Vatrano scored 2:15 into overtime to lift the visiting Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.