Home success has highlighted the Minnesota Wild’s current surge.
Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators’ impressive road showing is a big reason for their improved play of late.
Both teams are riding four-game overall winning streaks.The Wild aim for a seventh straight home victory on Sunday in Saint Paul, Minn., while trying to keep the Senators from extending their road point streak to seven consecutive.
Minnesota dropped its first three home games but is 10-3-1 since. All but two of its 10 victories spanning the last 13 games came at home. Following Friday’s 4-1 victory over Chicago, the Wild have outscored their opponents 20-10 while going 5-0-0 at home this month.
“The guys are committed,” said Minnesota coach Dean Evason, whose team is also 13-for-39 on the power play in the last 12 games.
“We play stingy. We play hard. We make it difficult to play against, and then we’ll get our opportunities. And, when we do, we’ll hopefully capitalize as we have here as of late.”
Mats Zuccarello recorded his second career hat trick and added an assist, star Kirill Kaprizov had a goal with two assists and Sam Steel added two helpers Friday for the Wild. Over the last 13 games as linemates, the trio has totaled 19 goals.
Zuccarello’s posted six goals with eight assists while recording a point in all nine December games. Kaprizov, meanwhile, has totaled six goals with 13 assists during his 11-game home point streak.
Kaprizov had a goal with an assist and Zuccarello also scored during Minnesota’s 4-2 win at Ottawa on Oct. 27. That was the 10th victory in the last 11 meetings with the Senators for the Wild, who own a 26-12 goal advantage during their five-game home winning streak in this series that dates to a 3-2 loss on March 31, 2016.
Ottawa, however, is 5-0-1 on the road after opening 1-6-1 away from home. Drake Batherson scored twice, Claude Giroux had a goal with an assist and Alex DeBrincat posted three assists as the Senators broke open a 3-3 game with three third-period goals for Saturday’s 6-3 win at Detroit.
Amid an 8-2-1 overall stretch, Ottawa scored three power-play goals Saturday, and two short-handed. The club is 9-for-21 with the man-advantage over the last four contests.
“You’ve got to get every point you can, and we’re grinding,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “We know the way we have to play.”
DeBrincat assisted on a club-record six straight goals in the last two contests and has 10 with three goals during his eight-game point streak. He had a goal with an assist against the Wild this season. Batherson, who posted an assist in that contest, has five goals with six assists during his seven-game point stretch.
Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves against Senators in October and has stopped 49 of 51 shots in winning his last two starts — both at home. Meanwhile, backup and former Senator Filip Gustavsson has a 1.37 goals-against average during his five-game winning streak.
Ex-Wild netminder Cam Talbot made 29 saves for Ottawa on Saturday in his fourth straight start. However, Anton Forsberg could make his first start since Dec. 8. Forsberg, who stopped 36 versus Minnesota this season, is 0-4-2 with a 3.34 GAA on the road in 2022-23.
–Field Level Media