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Kaprizov scores 3 to lead Wild to 5-2 win over Hurricanes

WCCO digital update: Morning of Jan. 21, 2024
WCCO digital update: Morning of Jan. 21, 2024 01:15

Kirill Kaprizov scored three goals for his second career hat trick, and Joel Eriksson Ek had the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

Jake Middleton also scored for the Wild in their third win in four games after losing eight of nine. Filip Gustavsson stopped 40 shots.

"These are the type of games we won last year and we haven't really found a way to win this year," Gustavsson said. "We got two of three on this road trip and it's some playoff teams we have been playing against. Hopefully, we can build on it."

Martin Necas and Michael Bunting had goals for Carolina, which finished 3-2-1 on a six-game homestand. Antti Raanta finished with 14 saves.

Eriksson Ek scored at 9:32 of the third to give the Wild a 3-2 lead as he controlled the rebound of a shot by Jonas Brodin and then got two chances to beat Raanta. That came just 75 seconds after Bunting had tied it for the Hurricanes.

Kaprizov and Middleton added empty-net goals for the Wild in the final 2:01. Kaprizov got his 18th of the season to finish off his first hat trick since last Feb. 26 against Columbus.

The Hurricanes had an extra skater on the ice and were pushing to tie the game at 3 when Kaprizov blocked a shot that led to his empty-net goal. The 26-year-old Russian was asked what he was more proud of: the defensive effort or the hat trick.

"The blocked shot because the bench was so happy," Kaprizov said.

Gustavsson applauded both parts of Kaprizov's standout game.

"We're used to seeing him score a lot of goals," Gustavsson said. "He's doing my job, too."

Carolina played without forward Andrei Svechnikov (upper-body injury), who scored the game-winning goal on Friday against Detroit.

The Hurricanes outshot the Wild 18-3 in the first period, but Minnesota managed to get out of the period tied at 1-1.

"The first period we needed more," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "You do everything you're supposed to, the way we want to do it and get our opportunities, and come out of there tied? That was probably deflating a little bit."

Necas, with his second goal in two games, gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead with just under 6 minutes remaining in the opening period with a wrist shot from the left circle.

Kaprizov tied it at 1-1 with 2:17 remaining in the first with a tip-in of a shot from Alex Goligoski. Kaprizov has scored five goals in the past two games and 10 in his last 10 games.

Kaprizov put the Wild ahead at 6:18 of the second as he got the puck in the slot, spun around and wristed a shot through a screen by Erksson Ek.

Bunting tied it again at 8:17 of the third with a shot from the left circle.

"I thought in the first period, we were back on our heels a little bit," Minnesota coach John Hynes said. "We played the game more the way we need to play it in the second and third (periods)."


Wild: Host Washington on Tuesday night.

Hurricanes: At Boston on Wednesday night.

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