Wild set franchise faceoff record to get first win

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The Minnesota Wild earned a postseason berth in 2013, but for a franchise on an upswing, that campaign was regarded as just a stepping stone to bigger and better things. They got off to a 0-1-2 start this season, but are back on the right track with a 2-1 win versus the Winnipeg Jets.

“It was very similar to the first three games,” forward Zach Parise told the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Michael Russo. “The only difference is we came out on top.”

Minnesota hasn’t lost a game by more than a goal so far this season, but if there was just one obvious difference tonight it would be their success on the draw. The Wild announced that they set a franchise record by winning 73.8% of their faceoffs. Captain Mikko Koivu led the way by winning 14 of his 19 draws.

Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was also quick to praise youngsters Mikael Granlund and Mathew Dumba for their efforts. Given that the Wild’s depth is an area of concern, they need some of their less experienced players to step up and make significant contributions.

Their role players also stepped up, with Matt Cooke scoring the game-winning goal and registering an assist.

The Wild will look for a similar team effort against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.