Fleury returns, Wild continue strong play after break with 3-2 victory over Penguins

Frederick Gaudreau and Brock Faber arrived at Xcel Energy Center in floral ties, while Filip Gustavsson wore a flower crown.

Coaches donned boutonnieres behind the bench.

After everyone on the Wild wore jerseys crested with his name and number during warmups, Marc-Andre Fleury and his teammates returned to the ice on Friday night for a pregame ceremony that highlighted Fleury's 20-season career, his three Stanley Cups and his family.

"I'm proud of you, Daddy," Fleury's son James said in a video message. "You're the best."

The Wild pulled out all the stops to honor the future Hall-of-Famer for playing 1,000 games and becoming the second-winningest goaltender of all-time, including a 3-2 win over the Penguins that capped off the celebration.

Fleury's 33 saves were an appropriate encore to the accolades, especially the nine in a row he rattled off after Kirill Kaprizov split a 2-2 tie with 10 minutes, 26 seconds to go in the third period.

This was Fleury's 553rd victory and his first since he posted No. 552 on Jan. 15 to move past Patrick Roy for the second place in NHL history.

His last win before that was Jan. 6 when he became only the fourth goalie to log 1,000 games, and both milestones were recognized before puck drop.

Standing alongside his wife Veronique, mom France and sister Marylene as well as James and his daughters Estelle and Scarlett, Fleury received an engraved silver stick and a custom mask featuring the Penguins, Golden Knights, Blackhawks and Wild – the four teams the 39-year-old has played for since getting drafted first overall in 2003 by Pittsburgh.

All three of his championships came with the Penguins, who gifted Fleury a painting commemorating his time with the franchise.

That his former longtime teammates Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin were on hand for the festivities was fitting, with Crosby praising Fleury in a recorded video message.

But after Fleury's children announced the starting lineup to the Wild and delivered the "Let's Play Hockey" call, the action reflected each team's circumstances.

Like the Wild, the Penguins are chasing a playoff spot, and the battle for two valuable points was close.

Matt Boldy capitalized on the power play 12:57 into the first period, wiring in a shot from the middle of the slot. Brock Faber's assist on the goal established a franchise record for the most assists by a rookie (27) and most points by a rookie defenseman (31) in a season.

Just 2:54 into the second period, Pittsburgh answered back when Reilly Smith – who was with Fleury in Vegas – one-timed in a slick Malkin pass.

The Wild regained the lead at 6:12 on a sharp sequence from Jonas Brodin, who hauled the puck from the corner to the front of the net where he spun into a shot that eluded Penguins goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (27 saves). At one point, Nedeljkovic thanked the post à la Fleury, who was playing for the first time since passing the NHL's concussion protocol after getting hit behind the net Jan. 19 at Florida.

Pittsburgh had another response, this time 1:01 into the third period, a power play goal from Crosby; the Penguins and Wild finished 1-for-6 on the power play.

But to put a bow on the evening, the Wild needed to score again and Kaprizov finally did when he buried a rebound from a Zach Bogosian point shot for his 20th goal of the season; Kaprizov is the first Wild player to record four straight 20-goal seasons.

The goal officially counted after a lengthy video review to check for a missed stoppage, an unsuccessful challenge by Pittsburgh since the NHL ruled there wasn't conclusive evidence to show the puck went out of play.