Forward Kirill Kaprizov (2015 Draft, fifth round) had a goal and an assist to help lead Russia in a comeback, 6-4 victory against Finland on Monday at the World Junior Championship.
Trailing 1-0 in the first period, Kaprizov scored a power-play goal, his first of the tournament, to tie the game at 1-1.
Finland, the host country, would score the next two goals to take a 3-1 lead, but Russia would stage another comeback. Russia scored four times over the final 11:12 of the second period, with Kaprizov picking up a primary assist on the eventual game-winning goal, to take a 5-3 lead.
Darcy Kuemper will start in goal for the Minnesota Wild on Monday when it hosts the Detroit Red Wings.
It will be Kuemper's fifth start and sixth appearance in the Wild's past 11 games. Kuemper has seen increased playing time due to injuries sustained by starter Devan Dubnyk, but the 25-year-old backup is also playing himself into a more regular role.
So while Dubnyk is a little banged up, it was very possible Kuemper was going to make his ninth start of the season against Detroit regardless.
Defenseman Louis Belpedio scored with 3:18 left in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and help lift the United States past Canada at each team's opening game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships on Saturday.
Belpedio, a third-round selection by the Minnesota Wild in the 2014 draft, is serving as an alternate captain for the United States in his first year participating in the international tournament.
The game, which saw five lead-changes, had the United States gets its second and final lead of the day when Belpedio's point shot was deflected by a Canadian defenseman and scored to make it 3-2 United States.
The Minnesota Wild will make two changes to its lineup on Tuesday when it hosts the Montreal Canadiens.
Erik Haula, who has been a healthy scratch the past three games, will draw into the lineup for the first time since Dec. 15, when the Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks 6-2. Each player, according to Head Coach Mike Yeo, has been performing well, making the decision to use them on Tuesday easier.
Minnesota Wild prospect Louis Belpedio was named an alternate captain for the 2016 United States Junior National Team for the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.
A sophomore defenseman currently playing at the University of Miami Ohio, Belpedio also was a captain for the 2014 United States National Under-18 team that won a goal medal in Lappeenranta, Finland at the IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship.
"We're excited about our leadership group here in Finland," said Ron Wilson, head coach of the team, according to a release from USA Hockey. "Zach (Werenski), Louie, Auston (Matthews) and Colin (White) have led by example since day one in Lake Placid this August and have the respect of everybody in the room."
Jared Spurgeon's role on the Minnesota Wild is one of the utmost importance, and now it can continue through the year 2021.
And the way the Wild is trending that is a very good thing.
Every week, the NHL honors three stars, players who outperformed their peers over the prior seven days. It's a distinction that has a strong correlation to production: score a lot of points, stop a lot of pucks, and you put yourself in the running.
Mikko Koivu was named the NHL's Third Star on Monday on the strength of eight points in three games last week. Those numbers are nice, but it's everything else Koivu does, much of which will be on display Monday against the Dallas Stars, that tells the full story of the Wild's captain.
"We always look at points, and goals, and assists," Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "But what you don't factor into that is how many goals that they prevent as well."
Mikko Koivu was named the NHL's Third Star for the week of Monday, December 14.
In three games last week, Koivu totaled three goals and five assists. He put together consecutive multi-point games against the Vancouver Canucks (1-3=4) and New York Rangers (2-1=3) before finishing his week with an assist against the Nashville Predators.
Koivu also won 40 of the 61 faceoffs he took, going 65.6% on draws. His three goals were scored on six shots on goal, giving him a shooting percentage of 50.
NASHVILLE -- Amid its longest point streak of the season, the issues the Minnesota Wild addresses going into games can be viewed as luxuries.
Don't get complacent, keep things in perspective, and try to keep what has ballooned into a nine-game point streak (6-0-3) rolling into the Christmas break, with three games separating the Wild and its time off.
"We're finding different ways to win, so it's not to get too high, not to get too low," Jason Pominville said. "It's trying to be consistent, and trying to keep improving. You never want to be satisfied, you want to be pushing for more, and we have a group of guys that are willing to do that."
It's been nine straight games for the Minnesota Wild having earned at least a point in each (6-0-3).
It's a stretch that's seen the Wild win in many ways: via shutouts, offensive outburst, and special teams performances.
None of that is especially relevant though when Head Coach Mike Yeo talks about the upcoming stretch of games before the Christmas break. The Wild plays the Nashville Predators on Saturday, and then a back-to-back Monday and Tuesday against the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens.