Minnesota twice trailed in the third period but got goals from Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala to force overtime and, eventually, sweep the back-to-back with the Blackhawks after a 5-1 win in Chicago a night earlier.
“It’s not as exciting as probably as you guys think it is because there were some obviously tight moments in those games,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “But what we really liked is we’ve talked about this before is how we trusted each other. We don’t have to call a timeout at the end to keep a unit on the ice, that we as an organization and them as a team they trust that the other groups.”
Minnesota has points in six straight games and hasn’t lost in regulation since hosting the St. Louis Blues in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. The Wild have swept three of their seven back-to-backs this season.
“We just, in our way, kind of look at each other and ‘who you got’ and we change,” Foligno said. “I think it went through one of the defenseman’s legs and I caught it and kind of stuffed it home. Hey, it’s exciting. You expect (Mats Zuccarello) or Kirill to do that job for us, or (Matt Dumba), something like that, but I think that just shows you the type of team we have to get the job done.”
“Great response,” Blackhawks interim coach Derek King said. “Totally different team from last night. So, very happy with our effort, our compete level. Could have got some bounces go in for us, but that’s hockey. We’ll take that point and move on and build off it.”
Kaprizov’s 17th goal tied the game midway through the third but Borgstrom countered with his second goal of the game 1:18 later. Fiala answered for Minnesota again with his 10th of the season with 2:04 left in regulation.
“It’s tough,” Borgstrom said. “I feel like we needed this and we played really well, hard game. It could have gone either way.”
Borgstrom’s first goal came 9:51 into the game when he made a deft deflection on a point shot from Erik Gustafsson.
DeBrincat, who was named to his first All-Star game this season and entered the day fifth in the league in goals, scored on a power-play. The Blackhawks were 0 for 3 on the power play a night earlier.
Eriksson Ek, playing his second game after missing five due to an upper-body injury, scored his 12th goal of the season on the power play with 30 seconds left in the first period.
“That’s a good hockey team,” King said of the Wild. “When they want to turn it up, they turn it up and they put some pressure. They tilted the ice pretty good on us. For us to battle back and get a lead again, hats off to our guys.”
Before the game, Chicago placed defenseman Riley Stillman (left shoulder injury in Friday’s game) and forward Jujhar Khaira (lower back) on injured reserve. Khaira’s move was made retroactive to Jan. 17. Brett Connolly was signed to the active roster but scratched Saturday. Caleb Jones played in Stillman’s place.
Minnesota activated captain Jared Spurgeon from injured reserve. Spurgeon had two assists in his first game after missing seven with a lower-body injury.
A DAY FOR HOCKEY
Saturday was the 16th annual Hockey Day Minnesota, which features a day dedicated to the sport with TV broadcasts all day long, including outdoor high school and collegiate games. The Wild are 13-2-1 all-time on Hockey Day.
Blackhawks: At Colorado on Monday.
Wild: Host Montreal on Monday.