NHL

Power company: Wild in groove with man advantage


The Minnesota Wild must have paid their bills because if you haven’t noticed, the power has been back on the last month.

The power play, that is.

After struggling with the man advantage, Minnesota found its way beginning with their March 10 game at home against Vegas.

In the 15 games played between March 10-April 7, the Wild have potted 13 pucks into the net in 48 power-play opportunities – a 27.1% conversion rate, which ranks fifth in the NHL over that span. Minnesota has taken 81 shots on goal during those power plays, a 16.0% scoring percentage.

This is a stark contrast from the games played previous to March 10, when Minnesota had a 6.8% power-play percentage (31st in the league) with just five goals and a 4.7% PP scoring percentage.

Leading the way for Minnesota in this recent surge are, naturally, rookie Karill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala, both of whom have four power-play goals in those 15 games, including two each against Colorado this past Wednesday.

Kaprizov (16) and Fiala (14) are 1-2 on the Wild in goals this season and the pair have combined for 11 of Minnesota’s 18 power-play goals (Fiala with a team-high six).

Others to tally on the power play during this recent stretch are Marcus Johansson, Victor Rask, Jared Spurgeon (with two) and Ryan Suter.

Spurgeon didn’t score on the power play in Wednesday’s big 8-3 win over Colorado, but he did assist on three of the man-advantage goals. He now has nine points in his last nine games with seven of those points coming on the power play. Only the New York Rangers’ Adam Fox, with 10 assists, has more points on the power play over that same time period.

Other notes

— In that 8-3 victory, four different Wild players had 3+ points (Fiala, Kaprizov, Rask and Spurgeon). It’s just the third time in franchise history that’s occurred. The other two: Feb. 27, 2018 in an 8-3 win over St. Louis (Mikael Granlund, Eric Staal, Suter and Jason Zucker) and March 29, 2009 in a 6-2 victory against the New York Islanders (Andrew Brunette, Marian Gaborik, Owen Nolan and Marek Zidlicky).

— Rask tied his career high with the three points. He did it five times with Carolina and earlier this season, Feb. 22, with Minnesota.

— Friday’s opponent, St. Louis, has just 11 goals in its last eight games, in which it is 1-6-1.

Statistics courtesy Sportradar and hockey-reference.com




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