Wild’s Marcus Johansson comes through, rookies shine in OT loss: Key takeaways vs. Blues

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Brock Faber’s seventh goal of the season and 40th point forced overtime with five minutes left, but Brandon Saad scored in overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 5-4 overtime win as the Minnesota Wild opened a six-game homestand at Xcel Energy Center with a critical defeat.

Jordan Kyrou’s hat trick also took the luster off Marco Rossi’s two-goal effort. Kyrou scored two tying goals and one go-ahead goal to hand Minnesota a two-game losing streak.

The Wild gained just two points in three meetings in the past three weeks against the Blues.

Mats Zuccarello had two golden opportunities to give the Wild a 4-2 lead but misfired right into Jordan Binnington on one chance with part of the net empty and then missed the net on a breakaway. Kyrou tied the score at 3-3 after that, then blew by Zuccarello in the neutral zone en route to his hat trick goal and a 4-3 lead. Zuccarello was also beaten in the neutral zone on the winner.

Marcus Johansson also scored for the Wild.

  • Kirill Kaprizov had two assists and now has 16 points in his past 14 games.
  • Wild rookies have combined for 86 points, second-most in the NHL behind Connor Bedard. Rossi and Faber combined for four points against the Blues.
  • The Wild won’t practice on Sunday or Monday. They’ll return to practice Tuesday and Wednesday before the San Jose Sharks come to town.

Marco Rossi buries two

If Faber and Bedard didn’t exist this season, the Calder Trophy may be Rossi’s to lose. After such a tough start last season led him to a season in Iowa, Rossi became the second rookie in Wild history to hit the 20-goal mark in a season (Kaprizov scored 27 in the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season). The first was a beautiful defense-to-offense goal when Rossi went from a stick lift on Jake Neighbours to save one goal to a breakaway goal seconds later after Kaprizov’s head-man pass. The second, which came less than four minutes later and less than three minutes after Kyrou tied the score at 2-2, came off a tic-tac-toe goal from the goalmouth. Kaprizov was the tic, Zuccarello the tac.

Marcus Johansson comes through

The much-maligned Johansson, who had gone eight games without a goal and only had nine in 66 games this season, nailed his 10th right into an open net in his 900th career regular-season game. Johansson, who had a long talk with assistant coach Darby Hendrickson on the ice after Friday’s practice, executed a perfect give-and-go with Faber for his 173rd career goal. Johansson had the entire cage to shoot into because Binnington was lured so out of position. Johansson was fired up after the goal, to say the least, a tally that tied the score at 1-1.

Wild waiting on Jack Peart decision

Now that St. Cloud State’s season is over, 2021 second-round pick Jack Peart has to decide whether to return to school for his senior year or sign with the Wild. “Out of respect to Jack and the tough way that their season ended (Friday night in the NCHC semifinal), we’ll just be patient with him and let him go about making those decisions the way he and his advisors choose,” said Wild assistant director of player development Matt Hendricks. The 20-year-old Grand Rapids, Minn., native won the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award in 2021 after leading Grand Rapids High in points for a defenseman with 11 goals and 35 points in 18 games. He scored three goals and 14 points in 38 games during his junior season with the Huskies and had eight goals and 55 points in 109 collegiate games. He was named Second Team All-NCHC for the second year in a row.

Three stars

1. Jordan Kyrou, Blues: The man who had four points against the Wild in the Winter Classic had a hat trick and now has 11 goals and 21 points in 19 career games against Minnesota.
2. Marco Rossi, Wild: Scored twice to become the second Wild rookie in history to hit the 20-goal plateau.
3. Kirill Kaprizov, Wild: Created chances all game and assisted on two goals.

(Photo: Matt Krohn / USA Today)

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