The Minnesota Wild continued their recent run of success on Wednesday night, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 to extend their win streak to four consecutive games. Kirill Kaprizov led the way for Minnesota with a goal and two assists, while Detroit got goals from Dylan Larkin, Joe Veleno and Lucas Raymond in a losing effort.
Wild Offense Stays Red Hot
Minnesota’s offense has caught fire during this four-game stretch, scoring 6, 7, 3 and now 6 goals over that span. Kaprizov has scored in four straight contests, while linemates Mats Zuccarello and Freddy Gaudreau also extended point streaks in this one.
The Wild got goals from six different skaters in building a 6-2 lead through two periods. After Detroit scored first on a Larkin tip-in midway through the opening frame, Minnesota responded with three unanswered tallies to close out the period. Kaprizov tied it on the power play, before Ryan Hartman and Marcus Foligno scored just over two minutes apart to grab the lead.
Detroit cut it to 3-2 early in the second on Veleno’s goal, but the Wild blew it open after that. Matt Boldy made it 4-2 minutes later off a great feed from Kaprizov, and then Brandon Duhaime and Joel Eriksson Ek scored 13 seconds apart to make it 6-2 heading into the third.
The six goals tied a season high for Minnesota, after they also lit the lamp six times against Winnipeg back on December 23rd.
Red Wings Defensive Struggles Continue
While Minnesota’s offense was clicking all night, Detroit’s defense left much to be desired in front of goalie Ville Husso. The Red Wings have surrendered 17 goals over their last three contests, going 1-2 over that stretch with losses to Florida and now the Wild.
Detroit has given up the second-most goals in the NHL this season with 164 through 34 games. Only the Anaheim Ducks have allowed more. The Red Wings had issues defending Minnesota’s potent top line of Kaprizov, Zuccarello and Gaudreau, as that trio combined for three goals and six points on the night.
Detroit coach Derek Lalonde called his team’s defensive effort “unacceptable” after the game. They allowed several high-danger scoring chances throughout the first two periods especially, with multiple Wild forwards left uncovered in prime shooting areas. The Red Wings were also outshot 43-29 in the contest.
The Wild will look to keep their win streak going when they host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. Minnesota has won five straight against the Blues dating back to last season, including a 6-2 victory earlier this month. They could tie a franchise record by defeating St. Louis again.
For Detroit, they’ll hope to shore things up defensively before hosting Original Six rival New York Rangers on Saturday as well. The Red Wings are monitoring trade talks around the league with the March 3rd deadline fast approaching. They are reportedly interested in adding defensive help in particular based on their struggles in their own end.
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The Wild have opened up an eight-point lead over Detroit for second place in the Central Division standings with their recent surge. Minnesota looks poised to make a run at the top seed in not only the division but the entire Western Conference, while the Red Wings are trying to stay in playoff position despite their issues keeping the puck out of their net.
Wednesday’s win was Minnesota’s fifth in their last six meetings with Detroit dating back to last season. The Wild used a balanced offensive attack and took advantage of some sloppy defensive zone play from the Red Wings to continue their winning ways.
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