Hellebuyck stopped 38 shots on a difficult night for the goalkeepers. Cam Talbot made 25 saves for the Wild, none greater than Logan Stanley’s refusal on a 2-1 just ahead of winner Eriksson Ek.
Mats Zuccarello had two goals and two assists, Marcus Foligno scored on the power play with 4:58 left in regulation and Kaprizov notched three assists for the Wild in this fiery revival of the rivalry of the central division with the Jets.
Kyle Connor scored two goals and got an assist to fuel an eight-point night for Winnipeg’s new top line without captain Blake Wheeler, who has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss at least three more games. Andrew Copp, who replaced Wheeler on the right wing, added a goal and two assists and Mark Scheifele had two assists.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the deciding goal early in the third period and Morrissey also scored for Winnipeg, who lost leads 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 5-3.
The first game between these teams in 653 days was as fiery and frantic as ever, as if both teams were trying to make up for lost time in the 2020-21 season adapted to the pandemic that has only pitted the Jets against each other. Canadian teams.
The Wild are playing at a faster pace now, with reigning Rookie of the Year Kaprizov their new star following the buyout of franchise anchors Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. With the help of their not-so-kind guests, they put on an impressive show for fans at their first sold-out in 19 months.
Kaprizov was penalized for brutalizing halfway through a Wild’s power play in the first period, and as soon as he came back from the box he started to fight Dubois.
Just after Eriksson Ek sneaked past Hellebuyck to tie at 2 shortly before the first intermission, Foligno and Brenden Dillon let the gloves drop. Foligno used a kung fu-style kick to start the fight and skated off the ice to a rousing ovation.
Zuccarello was credited with the strangest goal of the game when an unfortunate bodycheck from Hellebuyck blew the puck on Morrissey and tied the score at 3 at the end of the second period. The Wild almost took the lead in the dying seconds when Jonas Brodin’s shot was muffled by Hellebuyck’s stomach. Ryan Hartman pushed him, but officials declared the game dead and denied the goal.
The Jets face Anaheim in their home opener on Thursday.
Host the Wild Anaheim on Saturday, as the Ducks complete a four-game trip.
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Dave Campbell, The Associated Press