Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 8, Avalanche 3

1. A hat trick … With actual hats.

When Kirill Kaprizov scored his first NHL hat trick earlier this season at Xcel Energy Center, it was a cool moment for the rookie forward, but it happened in front of only 250 people who were stuck in the club level of the arena. It may have been the first hat trick in Wild history where no hats hit the ice.

Well, Kevin Fiala made sure Wild fans would get a chance to take part in the traditional act of throwing their headwear onto the ice when he scored his second and third goals of the game during a third-period onslaught that closed out the Avalanche in style.

Video: COL@MIN: Fiala rips puck home on power play for hatty

Minnesota carried a 5-3 lead to the final period, but that’s nothing against the high-powered Avs, who can score at will. So the Wild kept its foot on the gas pedal, led by Fiala, who scored his second of the night off a pass from Nick Bonino a few minutes into the third, then added his third 3 1/2 minutes later, his second power-play goal of the night and Minnesota’s fourth. 

Sandwiched between was a goal by Joel Eriksson Ek, as Minnesota pushed its lead to 8-3 before the midway point of the third.

Video: COL@MIN: Fiala forces turnover and scores second goal

For Fiala, it was his first NHL hat trick as well, as the Swiss sniper now has 14 goals, trailing only Kaprizov on the Wild in goals this season. 

Fiala has been red-hot of late, extending his points streak to seven games in all. During that stretch, he has five goals and six assists.

The final goal of the night gave the Wild eight on the night, which tied the franchise record for most goals in a game (fifth time). 

2. Off and running.

The Wild felt its first period on Monday night was solid … not great, but solid … as it led 1-0 after 20 minutes. Minnesota tripled its output on Wednesday, beating Philipp Grubauer three times in the first to build a multi-goal lead that, it turns out, it’d need. 

Video: COL@MIN: Rask sets up Kaprizov’s power-play goal

Kirill Kaprizov got Minnesota on the board, scoring in front of a home crowd for the first time in his NHL career, redirecting a pass from Victor Rask on a power play four minutes into the game.

Luke Johnson would follow with his first NHL goal on a feed from Kyle Rau, and Fiala would add another power-play goal with under two minutes to play as Minnesota tallied only the second three-goal first period surrendered by Colorado this season.

3. Here comes the power play. 

Much has been made of the Wild’s efforts on the man advantage this season, and for a bulk of the campaign, it hasn’t been up to snuff.

But that certainly hasn’t been the case over the past month – and most recently, on Wednesday.

Video: COL@MIN: Fiala snipes puck home on power play

The Wild lit the lamp four times on the power play against the Avalanche, scoring three times on the man advantage for the 41st time in franchise history. 

Video: COL@MIN: Kaprizov one-times dish for his second PPG

Over its past 15 games, Minnesota has 12 power-play goals, and since March 10, the Wild has the second-most power-play goals in the entire NHL. 

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