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Kirill Kaprizov continues hot streak as Wild beat Coyotes

He is now on a nine-game point streak, the longest of his career to this point.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild center Sam Steel, left, celebrates his goal with left wing Kirill Kaprizov in the second period Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, against the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild won 4-3.
Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports
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ST. PAUL -- You can’t stop Kirill Kaprizov. You can only hope to contain him.

Even that’s something opposing teams have struggled to do the past few weeks.

After leading the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Coyotes, Kaprizov is now on a nine-game point streak, the longest of his career to this point. He had a goal and a pair of assists on Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center as he continues to make the game look easy on a nightly basis.

“He’s unbelievable,” Marcus Foligno said. “He’s our best player for a reason. When he’s going, it’s exciting, because if we get secondary scoring along with his scoring, then we’re in for a good night. He’s an unbelievable player and what he brings to this team is huge.”

Aside from the nine-game point streak, Kaprizov is also on an eight-game assist streak, which ties a franchise record set by Jim Dowd a couple of decades ago. What’s been working so well for him as of late?

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“Nothing specific,” Kaprizov said. “Just play my game. I come to the rink prepared every single game and just play the way I know how to. Not really think about a certain streak or to do anything special. Just play my game and let the rest of it kind of take care of itself.”

It didn’t take Kaprizov very long to continue his point streak as he made it 1-0 early in the first period, finishing off a tape-to-tape pass from Joel Eriksson Ek in close.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild left wing Marcus Foligno fights Arizona Coyotes center Liam O'Brien in the second period Sunday in St. Paul.
Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

The score held until the second period when Kaprizov fired a backhand on net and Sam Steel pounced on a loose puck in front to stretch the lead to 2-0. Though the Wild were controlling the game at that point, they took their foot off the gas for a few minutes, and Coyotes winger Nick Schmaltz cut the deficit to 2-1 with a snipe top shelf.

That paved the way for the third period where the Wild got a quick goal from Jared Spurgeon to make it 3-1. Not long after that, Kaprizov delivered a ridiculous seam pass on the power play, and Matt Boldy did the rest to stretch the lead to 4-1.

“Just be ready for it,” Boldy said with a laugh. “There’s no pass that guy is not making through the seams. You kind of see it unfold with how smart he is. Just walking down he knows I’m there.”

That goal from Boldy to be the game-winner as the Coyotes popped a pair of goals late in the game.

“They got a couple of real good looks and were able to score at the end,” Evason said. “We were, for the most part, real happy with our game.”

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury looks on from between the pipes Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, against the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center.
Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

It helps to have someone as good as Kaprizov leading the charge.

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“He’s a superstar,” Boldy said. “He’s our best player. He controls everything for us. Obviously it’s nice to see him have that success.”

Asked postgame if he thinks he’s been playing better as of late, Kaprizov turned the question around in English, saying, “What do you think?”

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He then switched back to Russian and finished his answer through an interrupter.

“I don’t really think to think about that,” Kaprizov said. “I focus on my game and doing the best I can.”

His best is pretty darn good.

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