Recap: Bruins @ Wild 12.23.23

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kirill Kaprizov scored for the third straight game, helping the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Kaprizov scored in overtime in the Wild’s previous two games, including their 4-3 win at Boston on Tuesday. He has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak.

“Since I've been here, I haven't seen a difference in [Kaprizov’s] game,” Minnesota coach John Hynes said. “For me, I would just say that he's getting rewarded for it. There were a couple times, maybe the first few games we were here, I was getting the same questions about Kirill. But the production wasn't there, but his game was there. And now you're getting the production.

“I think when you're an elite player like him, and you play the game the right way and play to the style of game that he has, it's kind of what I said, it wasn't ‘if.’ It was going to be ‘when’ -- when those points were going to come in, and his production was going to come, and now it's here.”

BOS@MIN: Kaprizov goes glove side from slot in 2nd

Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist, and Marcus Foligno also scored for Minnesota (15-13-4) which has won six of seven. Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves.

David Pastrnak scored his 20th goal of the season, and Linus Ullmark made 32 saves for Boston (19-7-7) which has lost four straight (0-2-2) and six of seven (2-3-2), including a 5-1 loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

“I liked the first 15 minutes of our game, and I liked the last 10 minutes of our game,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “We just need more concerted effort. People [have] got to stay in the moment. They can’t worry about their previous shift or worry about what’s happening in five minutes. They’ve got to focus and reset and go out there for that next shift. As a staff, we’ve got to do a better job here of making sure guys stay in the moment.”

Fleury denied a Morgan Geekie breakaway with a glove save at 1:44 of the first period, but Pastrnak scored on the power play with a one-timer from left face-off dot at 2:37 to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

Eriksson Ek tied it 1-1 on a power play at 5:57 of the second period, scoring on a rebound at the goalmouth.

The Wild went 1-for-5 on the power play.

“Hard to win in this league if you give up so many penalties,” Pastrnak said. “We definitely have to be more disciplined.”

Kaprizov put Minnesota in front 2-1 at 7:22 after Alex Goligoski found him cutting through the slot.

The Wild outshot the Bruins 19-6 in the second.

Foligno increased the lead to 3-1 at 3:10 of the third period with a backdoor redirect off a Pat Maroon pass.

“You’ve got to like the second period,” Foligno said. “I thought it was complete domination there, and then the first part of the third, I thought we were good.”

Geekie scored at 13:53 with a one-timer off a Danton Heinen pass for the 3-2 final.

“Will and compete is what it comes down to,” Boston captain Brad Marchand said. “Seems like we’re losing a lot of battles that we should be winning. We’re not having that second effort, where when you watch the tape back and you see the second effort and compete level that other teams have right now that are doing well and having success. We need to up it right now.”

NOTES: Bruins defenseman Ian Mitchell played 10:50 in place of Kevin Shattenkirk, who was scratched. … Fleury earned the 550th win of his NHL career and moved within one of tying Patrick Roy (551) for second on the NHL’s all-time list. … Forward Jacob Lucchini had one hit and two shots in 10:05 in his debut with Minnesota.