Wild vs. Panthers: Minnesota rolling with what works into the Sunshine State

Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov is coming off a four-point night in a win over Dallas on Thursday. (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov is coming off a four-point night in a win over Dallas on Thursday. (Photo by Harrison Barden/Getty Images) /

97. Panthers -1.5. 5 p.m. CST. 98. Saturday, Nov. 20. 12-2-3. 11-5-0. Bally Sports North

Kirill Kaprizov appeared to have found his game on Thursday. The same could be said for the Minnesota Wild offensively as well.

OK, it was just one game but the Wild are sticking with what worked in the 7-2 win over the Dallas Stars at the Xcel Energy Center. Kaprizov had a goal and four points in the game after the Wild made wholesale line adjustments and responded with a season-high goal total.

“Obviously we played the right way and we loved how we responded,” Wild coach Dean Evason said during a postgame media available session on Thursday. “It’s great to get seven goals but we did it the right way. We played team-first. We weren’t extending our shifts, we weren’t individually trying to score. That was certainly nice for us to see and obviously nice for the group to get rewarded when they do that.”

There will be no changes with those  lines as Minnesota heads into a Saturday afternoon matchup against the Florida Panthers, and Cam Talbot gets the start in net.

“I just try to play hockey. I just try to play my game and be the best I could every single night,” Kaprizov said in a postgame interview on Thursday. “What happened (against the Stars) happened. I did think (the line changes) was a little bit of a signal.”

Saturday is the first of challenging back-to-back games in the Sunshine State. The Wild faces the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.  The Wild will try to carry Thursday’s momentum into a matchup with a Panthers team that leads the NHL with 26 points and have jumped out to a  9-0 record at the FLA Live Arena this season.

Minnesota has an 8-5-1 mark in Florida overall and is 18-6-3 against the Panthers overall.

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Betting odds

The Wild vs. Panthers odds on WynnBET has Florida as a 1.5 goal favorite at home. The Panthers are listed as -140 favorites on the moneyline, while Minnesota is the underdog at +125. The total goals is set at an over/under of six.

Upcoming Wild schedule

Sunday, Nov. 21: @Tampa Bay, 4 p.m. CST

Wednesday, Nov. 20: @New Jersey, 6 p.m. CST

Friday, Nov. 26: Winnipeg, 2:30 p.m. CST