Wild’s Ryan Hartman happy to play the villain in big game at Winnipeg

The last time the Wild were in Winnipeg, they lost three key contributors to injury — Kirill Kaprizov, Filip Gustavsson and Vinni Lettieri. The latter two were unrelated to the general animus that has developed between the division rivals.

Kaprizov, however, was placed on injured reserve and missed seven games after being cross-checked in the back by Brenden Dillion in the Jets’ 4-2 victory. When the teams met the next day in Minnesota, Wild center Ryan Hartman tagged defenseman Cole Perfetti in the face on a faceoff with less than two minutes off the clock in Minnesota’s 3-2 loss.

With the Wild in Winnipeg on Tuesday for a rematch at Canada Life Centre, Hartman was asked about the high stick — which earned him a league-maximum $4,427.08 fine from NHL Player Safety.

“Sometimes things happen because something else happens, whether it’s the hockey gods or whatever,” he said. “But that was a while ago.”

But it was a big story in Winnipeg, and Hartman — who has been fined twice and suspended once this season — will likely hit town as the villain.

“I kinda like it,” he said. “Whatever.”

After Monday’s 10-7 victory over Vancouver at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild will bring a six-game points streak (5-0-1) into Winnipeg to start a three-game road trip.

Big numbers

Hartman had an assist on a 5-on-3 power play to start the third period Monday, the first of five unanswered goals that erased a 5-3 deficit in just 5 minutes, 12 seconds.

Overall, the Wild and Canucks combined for nine third-period goals. According to the NHL, the Wild’s seven were the most goals in a period since Washington scored eight in the second period of a game against Tampa Bay on Feb. 3, 1999.

Asked what it was like to play in a game like that — the Canucks pulled within 8-7 with 2:09 left to play — Hartman said, “Stressful. Very stressful. But fun.”

Minnesota’s 10 goals on 27 shots made for a 37 percent success rate, the best single-game shooting percentage by a team with 25-plus shots on goal since the start of the the 2000-01 season. Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek each finished with a hat trick. Two of the Wild’s goals were empty-netters by Karprizov and Jonas Brodin.

The Wild are 9-3-1 since Jan. 15 and averaging 4.08 goals a game in that stretch, tops in the NHL.


— Wild forward Marcus Foligno, who missed his fourth straight game because of a lower body injury, will not travel on this week’s trip, head coach John Hynes said.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who played the third period and stopped six of eight shots, will start Tuesday at Winnipeg, Hynes said.

— Vancouver’s Conor Garland left Monday’s game in the second period while favoring his right leg.