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Wild leave Carolina with win: Kaprizov hat trick, Gustavsson brilliant

Badly out-shot, the Wild stood tall in Carolina.
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Minnesota got out-shot 18-3 in the first period and Carolina had 30 shots on goal to Minnesota's seven late in the second period but it didn't matter. Somehow, the Wild held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. 

The difference Sunday at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., was Filip Gustavsson, the Minnesota goaltender stopped 40-of-42 shots in the 5-2 Wild win. The Hurricanes out-shot the Wild 42-19. 

Kirill Kaprizov supplied a hat trick, giving him five goals in the last two games and 17 points (10 goals, 7 assists) in his past nine games. His first of the day came with 2:17 left in the first period, and he put Minnesota up 2-1 on a wrist shot at the 6:18 mark of the second period. 

Kaprizov completed the hat trick after blocking a hard shot and then sending a puck the length of the ice into an empty net as Carolina scrambled with an extra skater and pulled goalie in an attempt to tie the game. 

Carolina tied the game 2-2 when Michael Bunting beat Gustavsson at 8:17 of the third period, but Joel Eriksson Ek's team-leading 19th goal of the season came just 75 seconds later and it served as the game-winning goal. 

Jake Middleton added a second empty-netter for the Wild to push the lead to three. 

Minnesota was a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill, their second straight such performance on special teams. 

The win gets the Wild back within a game of .500 at 20-21-5 and gets them within six points of Nashville for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Up next: Wild vs. Washington Capitals, Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. 

Kirill Kaprizov

Jan 21, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) scores a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at PNC Arena.