The Wild didn’t have Ryan Reaves in action when the puck fell against the Jets after hours of trading for the veteran catcher, but they played like they did.
After adding Reaves to boost their size and bravado, the Wild pulled off their most assertive performance of the season in a 6-1 blitz in Winnipeg on Wednesday in front of 17,450 at the Xcel Energy Center to improve to 2-1 in a seven-game homestand.
“We got that [the] “The last two games,” said Matt Dumba. “We know we had to be better at home, and I think that showed in our last few games that we are rising to that challenge and trying to be to the best of our ability.”
Matt Boldy scored a goal and had two assists, Marcos Foligno scored two goals to finish in 11 games, and Kirill Kaprizov extended his point streak to seven games with a pair of points that included his first tally in six games.
At the other end of the rink, guard Philip Gustafsson made 28 stops to claim back-to-back wins in place of injured rookie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Overall, 10 Wild players counted in offense, which led to a season higher in production; Six in the Wilderness converted on multiple efforts including Kalen Addison (goal and assist), Joel Erickson Ek and Doumba (2 assists each). The 39 shots Wilde directed at Jets goaltender Connor Hellebock was just shy of one of his season-highs.
“We shot a lot of pucks,” said Foligno, who left the ice late in the third period after sticking a stick in the ear. “We kept it simple. We went to the net. We just played our game.”
Mason Shaw got the ball rolling during the first period dictated by the Wild, his shot off a Dumba feed hit Hellebuyck and then the back of defender Josh Morrissey before it fell into the net at 8 minutes 20 seconds.
In the second, Addison scored his first goal of the season at 2:50 after another accidental rebound for the Wild: his shot caught Hellebwick high and fell into the net off Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry’s skate.
Then, just 1:08 later, Foligno scored his first goal in 12 games when he blocked the rebound from a domba shot. Doumba became just the fourth Wild defenseman to record 150 career assists.
“I came out of there faltering with a little injury,” said Foligno, who noted his frustration recently. “Now I’m healthy. It’s good to have this.”
Before game two ended, the Jets cut their deficit to two goals when Kyle Connor kicked a shot at 14:18, but the Wild regained control on the third.
Kaprizov canceled out a 0-for-15 running back on the power play that started five games ago with just 28 seconds left in the period, eventually bouncing back from his attempt between the legs for his 11th touchdown and first since November. .9 in Anaheim. He’s one game away from hitting his career best streak at eight.
“A couple laughing in the huddle after the goal, saying we got a goal at the end,” Boldy said of the power play.
Soon after, Foligno honed an appeasement game and took off with Ericsson Ike at 6:51 in his first multiplayer game since November 2, 2021, against Ottawa. Their teammate Brandon Duheme did not play the third, and coach Dean Evason said Duheme would likely miss the next game.
Boldi put in an explosive bow and finished with a season-high three-point game with 10:14 remaining after Kaprizov set him up for a wide open shot to end his eight-game scoring drought.
The Wild finished 2-for-5, while Winnipeg went 0-for-2.
“Obviously there will be ups and downs,” said Boldy. “I’ve been down for a little longer than you’d like but I have to keep going.”
Next up on the Wild is Friday against the Maple Leafs, and that’s when Reaves is expected to be on the ice after being acquired from the Rangers in the 2025 fifth round.
“Now looking at our squad, we are a strong squad,” said Foligno. “We’re strong, and we have to play this way. Having him here is a great addition. We’re looking forward to it.”