Another stunner: Wild rallies twice to force OT, Foligno scores game-winner

·4 min read

Kevin Fiala had just scored a game-tying goal, after Kirill Kaprizov served up one earlier in the third period, and Mats Zuccarello was in a playmaking groove.

But as the Wild vied to finally overtake the Blackhawks in 3-on-3 overtime, the team didn't shorten its bench to keep ushering its top players onto the ice.

Actually, coach Dean Evason opted for the opposite strategy and that's how the Wild eventually completed a 4-3 comeback on Saturday in front of 19,092 at Xcel Energy Center to sweep a weekend home-and-home with Chicago and pick up its fifth win over the past six games.

"That's who we are," Evason said. "We like to roll everybody 5-on-5 but in those situations, we like to use other people, too, and we've been fortunate to get it done."

With 38 seconds left in overtime, Jordan Greenway set up Marcus Foligno for a shot that sailed past Blackhawks goalie Kevin Lankinen for Foligno's first career overtime goal during a season-high 21 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time.

Foligno and Greenway were the sixth different set of forwards utilized by the Wild in overtime and among forwards, only center Joel Eriksson Ek took multiple shifts.

"They're fresh," Evason said. "We believe that that's a key element. Yeah, some guys have more skill to score goals than some people that are out there but if you're fresh, we think the field gets leveled a little bit, right?

"Our depth is good, so that allows us to do that."

The goal was Foligno's 16th of the season on his 54th shot, and it tied his career-high for points (26) that he set last season. He leads the NHL in shooting percentage at 29.6.

"I believe I have a good shot and I need to use it more," Foligno said. "It's just something where the puck's been bouncing my way this season, and I've been capitalizing on that."

As for Greenway, the assist was his second of the game.

He also put in motion Fiala's equalizer with 2:04 remaining in the third period, throwing a puck on net that yielded a rebound Fiala buried to extend his point streak to a season-long eight games.

Like Greenway, defenseman Alex Goligoski also assisted on the Wild's last two goals.

"We're gonna need everyone stepping up and doing what needs to be done," Greenway said, "and I think we've done that for a lot of the games and that's what led to the success that we've had."

BOXSCORE: Wild 4, Chicago 3 (OT)

Unlike Round 1 when the Wild capitalized early and often en route to a 5-1 dusting at Chicago on Friday, the Blackhawks had the eager start and built a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Henrik Borgstrom tipped in an Erik Gustafsson point shot to open the scoring at 9:51 before Alex DeBrincat converted on Chicago's only power play of the evening with 2:53 left in the first.

Before the period adjourned, the Wild sliced that deficit in half with its own power-play goal.

Eriksson Ek pounced on a Zuccarello rebound at 19:30 for his team-leading seventh goal on the power play in his second game back from an upper-body injury suffered Dec.20 at Dallas.

With an assist on the play, Zuccarello extended his point streak to a career-high eight games, a span in which he's racked up 14 points. Zuccarello has multiple points in four straight games for the first time in his career.

Captain Jared Spurgeon also factored into the goal in his return to the lineup after missing seven games with a lower-body injury, his first of two assists.

In the second, the Wild dominated possession, outshooting the Blackhawks 20-9, but couldn't send a puck behind Lankinen, who ended up making 40 saves.

Not until the third period did the Wild finally pull even.

Near the end of a 4-minute power play, Kaprizov redirected in a Zuccarello pass at 10:45 for his 17th goal, which extended his point streak to four games. Over his last eight, he has 15 points. The Wild power play went 2-for-5.

Just 1:18 later, Chicago recaptured the lead when a puck Borgstrom jammed at eventually squeaked behind goalie Kaapo Kahkonen, who finished with 33 saves in what could be his last start before No.1 Cam Talbot returns from injury.

But Fiala responded with the Wild's league-leading 13th goal at 6-on-5, paving the way for a thrilling rally that was spurred on by several players and not just the ones at the top of the depth chart.

"You expect Zuccy or Kirill to do that job for us, or [Matt Dumba]," Foligno said. "But I think that just shows you the type of team we have to get the job done."