See more of the story

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Rookies alongside veterans.

Minor league call-ups following prospects.

The Wild had the perfect mix of experience levels for the preseason, except this was Game No. 80.

How did they devolve into a roster that looked like their rollcall at training camp?

Injuries had them dipping into their reserves all season long, but falling out of contention allowed the team to add players who might be playing elsewhere if the Wild were preparing for the playoffs.

And those youngsters are taking advantage of the opportunity, with the Wild's 6-2 romp against the last-place Sharks on Saturday night at SAP Center the latest example of that.

Liam Ohgren scored his first NHL goal and had an assist in just his second game. Jesper Wallstedt made 27 saves in his second career victory, and Marat Khusnutdinov picked up an assist after he notched his first NHL a night earlier.

"It's very uplifting," coach John Hynes said. "They're certainly making an impact."

Before the puck dropped on their first game, the Wild had their depth tested.

Captain Jared Spurgeon suffered a preseason shoulder injury that sidelined him a month.

Matt Boldy got hurt in the second game and soon after, Alex Goligoski. Then Zach Bogosian, Jonas Brodin, Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov, Filip Gustavsson and Marcus Foligno.

Overall, the Wild are at 229 man games lost to injury, with Spurgeon and Foligno eventually shelved for the season.

These absences turned Jake Lucchini and Vinni Lettieri into mainstays after each started in the American Hockey League with Iowa.

Adam Beckman also parlayed a promotion into a gig with the Wild, although Beckman has been in and out of action; he was a healthy scratch vs. San Jose. Mason Shaw returned, too, after recovering from a fourth ACL injury.

But that group hasn't regularly boosted the Wild; their best stretch came earlier this month when the Shaw, Lucchini and Lettieri line chipped in three goals across two games.

Had the Wild received consistent secondary scoring, they might not have missed the playoffs for just the second time in 12 years.

Regardless, they are getting a preview of what that jolt could look like next season.

After Matt Boldy opened the scoring 5 minutes, 19 seconds into the first period, Declan Chisholm — a waiver-wire pickup from Winnipeg — broke a 1-1 tie with 3:09 left in the first.

Ohgren had the second assist on the goal for his first NHL point after making his debut Friday during the Wild's 7-2 meltdown at Vegas. A week earlier, Ohgren, the Wild's first-round draft pick in 2022, was with Iowa after his season in Sweden ended.

"Ohgren continues to impress," Hynes said. "He's got NHL speed. He's competitive. He's got good [hockey] sense. He's got a good shot."

Case in point: With 5:37 to go in the second period, Ohgren secured his first goal — and the game-winner — when the winger buried a Jonas Brodin rebound; the official had to dig the keepsake puck out of the netting for the 20-year-old.

"It felt much better today," said Ohgren, who again had his family in attendance. "Obviously maybe not so much nerves that I had yesterday, but it feels good and I think it will only be better and better."

Khusnutdinov also factored into Ohgren's milestone goal, his assist his second point in as many games and fourth in 14 games since coming over from Russia.

"Khusnutdinov was skating really well tonight," Hynes said. "I thought he played a couple pretty good games."

BOXSCORE: Wild 6, San Jose 2

The Wild veterans took over after that, with Kirill Kaprizov capitalizing twice in 47 seconds before the second period ended to climb to 44 goals, and Marcus Johansson padding the Wild's lead 1:46 into the third.

But the Wild's youth were unmistakable catalysts, especially with Wallstedt in net.

He denied former Wild forward Nico Sturm shortly before Ohgren scored and stopped Justin Bailey before Kaprizov's blitz.

The only pucks that eluded Wallstedt, who was coming off a 24-save shutout at Chicago last Sunday, were a deflection on a Jan Rutta point shot after Boldy's goal and a Mario Ferraro one-timer that preceded Kaprizov's first; Kaprizov's second was his 18th on the power play, a franchise record.

"An unfortunate bounce on the first goal there," Wallstedt said. "But overall it still felt good. It felt like I was pushing my pace, I was getting set in position and got myself a good chance at making every save. So, I'm happy with it. And a big win for the team."