Wild have aggressive day start to finish, deal Jets a 6-1 defeat

The Wild didn’t have Ryan Reaves in action when the puck dropped against the Jets hours after trading for the veteran forward, but they played like they did.

After adding Reaves to shore up their size and swagger, the Wild dished out their most assertive performance of the season in a 6-1 blitz of Winnipeg on Wednesday in front of 17,450 at Xcel Energy Center to improve to 2-1 on a seven- game home stand.

“We’ve had that [the] last couple games,” Matt Dumba said. “We know we’ve had to be better at home, and I think that’s shown in our last few that we’re rising to that challenge and trying to be at the best of our abilities. “

Matt Boldy chipped in a goal and two assists, Marcus Foligno scored twice to end an 11-game rut and Kirill Kaprizov extended his point streak to seven games with a pair of points that included his first tally in six.

At the other end of the rink, goaltender Filip Gustavsson made 28 stops for back-to-back wins in place of injured starter Marc-Andre Fleury.

Overall, 10 Wild players factored into the offense, which tied a season high in production; six on the Wild turned in multipoint efforts including Calen Addison (goal and assist), Joel Eriksson Ek and Dumba (two assists each). The 39 shots the Wild directed at Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck were one shy of their season high.

“We shot a lot of pucks,” said Foligno, who left the ice late in the third period after taking a stick to the ear. “We kept it simple. We went to the net. We just played our game.”

Mason Shaw got the ball rolling during a first period dictated by the Wild, his shot off a Dumba feed hitting Hellebuyck and then the back of defender Josh Morrissey’s leg before tumbling into the net at 8 minutes, 20 seconds.

In the second, Addison potted his first goal of the season at 2:50 on another fortuitous bounce for the Wild: His shot caught Hellebuyck up high and dropped into the net off the skate of Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry.

Then only 1:08 later, Foligno registered his first goal in 12 games when he buried the rebound off a Dumba shot. Dumba became the fourth Wild defenseman to register 150 career assists.

“I kind of came out stumbling with a little injury here,” said Foligno, who mentioned being frustrated lately. “Now I’m healthy. It feels good to get this one.”

Before the second ended, the Jets scaled their deficit back to two goals when Kyle Connor wired in a shot at 14:18, but the Wild reclaimed control in the third.

Kaprizov nixed an 0-for-15 slump for the power play that started five games earlier just 28 seconds into the period, eventually whacking in his own rebound off a between-the-legs attempt for his team-leading 11th goal and first since Nov 9 at Anaheim. He is one game away from tying his career-best point streak at eight.

“A couple laughs in the huddle after the goal saying we finally got one,” Boldy said of the power play.

Soon after, Foligno polished off a give-and-go with Eriksson Ek at 6:51 for his first multigoal game since Nov. 2, 2021, vs. Ottawa. Their linemate Brandon Duhaime didn’t play the third, and coach Dean Evason said Duhaime will likely miss the next game.

Boldy put a bow on the blowout and finalized a season-high three-point game with 10:14 to go after Kaprizov set him up for a wide-open shot on the power play to wrap his eight-game goal drought.

The Wild finished 2-for-5, while Winnipeg went 0-for-2.

“There’s going to be ups and downs obviously,” Boldy said. “I was down for a little longer than you like but just kind of got to keep going.”

Next up for the Wild is a Friday matinee against the Maple Leafs, and that’s when they’re expected to have Reaves on the ice after acquiring him from the Rangers for a 2025 fifth-round draft pick.

“Now looking at our lineup, we’re a beefy lineup,” Foligno said. “We’re tough, and we’ve got to play that way. Him being here is a great addition. We’re looking forward to it.”

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