Make it four straight wins for the suddenly surging Minnesota Wild, with the latest victory coming in dramatic fashion on the road against one of the top teams in the NHL.
Minnesota trailed 2-1 with under 90 seconds left in the third period when Jason Zucker scored on a power play with 1:27 remaining, and 26 seconds later it was Joel Erikkson Ek beating goaltender Connor Hellebuyck for the go-ahead, game-winning goal.
"The pace I thought was really fast, and when we can keep up with the pace it gives you a lot of confidence because there's a lot of fast teams, not too many faster than Winnipeg, and they're coming at you four lines deep. It gives you confidence that you can play with the big boys a little bit," said head coach Bruce Boudreau, via Wild.com.
That's the thing: trading Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund away for Ryan Donato and Kevin Fiala, who had three shots-on-goal in 17 minutes in his Wild debut, has made Minnesota a faster team.
General manager Paul Fenton has openly said his goal was to make the Wild faster and younger, and that was on display Tuesday night at Bell MTS Place.
Boudreau's guarantee to make the playoffs earlier this month is looking a little stronger now than it was a week ago, when the Wild lost nine of 10 games out of the All-Star break and had fallen out of the playoff picture.
Minnesota's four straight wins has them one point ahead of Dallas for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and with 18 games left in the regular season – nine at home and nine on the road – the Wild has a 57 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to MoneyPuck.
Up next: Wild at Calgary, Saturday, 9 p.m.