Kirill Kaprizov’s hat trick lifts Wild to 3-2 overtime win over Blue Jackets

Never mind that the Wild have been struggling to score as of late. They have Kirill Kaprizov, and like he proved on Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center, sometimes, that’s more than enough.

After dominating for prolonged stretches, the Wild actually trailed the Columbus Blue Jackets by a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes of play.

That’s when Kaprizov took over. He cut into the deficit in half with a redirection in front, tied the game with snipe from in close, then finished with a slam dunk in overtime. His hat trick lifted the Wild to a 3-2 win they absolutely had to have to as the Western Conference playoff race continues to tighten up.

Though the Wild were the much better team in the early stages, Blue Jackets winger Mathieu Olivier made it 1-0 late in the first period with a rising shot that beat Marc-Andre Fleury. The sequence started with a turnover by Alex Goligoski behind the net.

That score held until early in the second period when Blue Jackets winger Liam Foudy scored via a redirection to stretch the lead to 2-0. The frustration started to mount from there for the Wild as they continued to control the game with nothing to show for it.

Luckily for the Wild, they have a legitimate superstar on their roster, and Kaprizov emerged from the phone booth and saved the day with an incredible individual effort. He cut the deficit to 2-1 early in the third period after a strong shift by the top line. He followed it up by leveling the score at 2-2 with a goal on the power play.

That the set stage for overtime where Kaprizov completed his hat trick with a emphatic finish that finalized the score at 3-2.

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