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SEATTLE — Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello weren't battling in a game of hot potato when they were lobbing the puck back and forth behind the net.

They were using one of their trademark tricks against the Seattle Kraken goaltender, who didn't slide over in time to stop Kaprizov when he finally balked at a pass and jammed a shot inside the post.

"I see goalie was on Zuccy's side," Kaprizov said. "Just try to put on net."

Kaprizov and Zuccarello haven't played on the same line for the last eight games, but the Wild haven't been worse off.

In fact, since the longtime linemates were split up in the third period of the team's return from the All-Star break, the Wild are 7-1-1 to remain in the uber-competitive Western Conference playoff race.

But time apart hasn't dulled the chemistry between Kaprizov and Zuccarello: they're still teaming up on the power play to score game-defining goals, just like they did in the 5-2 victory at Seattle late Saturday night that capped a three-win week.

"I play with him last four years," Kaprizov said, "and he'll hold, hold, hold and then he knows where I go, where his other partners going. It's Zuccy."

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Their give-and-go vs. the Kraken during a 5-on-3 in the first period gave the Wild a lead they wouldn't relinquish, but that wasn't the only goal Kaprizov and Zuccarello created.

On another power play early in the second, Zuccarello one-timed a cross-zone pass to Kaprizov, who then threaded the puck through two Seattle players to Matt Boldy for a backhander that eventually counted as the game-winner.

That was the sixth time the two combined on the same power play goal in the Wild's last four games, a stretch in which the team went 8-for-20.

"It's not just us two," Zuccarello said. "It's five guys playing well."

Still, their connection is clutch.

A Kaprizov pass to Zuccarello was the start of a six-goal blitz last Monday vs. Vancouver during the Wild's 10-7 comeback, with Zuccarello's shot looking like a return feed to Kaprizov before it clipped a defenseman's skate and diverted into the net.

As for the goal that finally erased that pesky deficit, that was also a Zuccarello-to-Kaprizov specialty, a shot-pass Kaprizov easily deposited.

"He don't like [to] shoot. This is why I think he's a nice passer," Kaprizov said with a laugh.

NHL season standings

Since they started working together during Kaprizov's rookie season, the two have become one of the most dynamic duos in the NHL.

Of the 140 goals Kaprizov has scored with the Wild, Zuccarello has factored in 65.

Their line with Ryan Hartman was separated during a 2-1 win over Chicago on Feb. 7 that was a blah night for the Wild's premier players. But that group has been leading the way after some reshuffling.

Kaprizov, Boldy and Joel Eriksson Ek are crushing the competition.

Over their last eight games, they're the top-producing line in the NHL with 47 points. During his season-long eight-game point streak, Kaprizov has chipped in seven goals and assisted on 11 others.

And Zuccarello? He's had not one but two four-point performances in his past four games.

"It doesn't [mean] that they won't be back together," coach John Hynes said. "But I think right now you gotta go with what's in front of you and how guys are playing."

BOXSCORE (late Saturday): Wild 5, Seattle 2

The Wild's offense is rolling — on the power play, at even strength, when the team is behind, when it's ahead, you name it.

To produce like that without having their best scorer and best playmaker on the same line showcases the depth and balance that make surges like these sustainable.

"We don't play 5-on-5, but it's OK," Kaprizov said. "We have power plays, and we enjoy playing together power play for sure. Other players can play with everyone on the team. Last game, I play one shift with [Connor] Dewar and [Brandon] Duhaime, and we have a good shift, too.

"Now Bolds and Ekky play all the time and before play Hartzy and Zuccy. We can play all together. Doesn't matter."