The Wild has been on a tear the past month, and the team has the seat in the standings to prove it.
After securing its fourth consecutive victory, dispatching the Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday night in front of 16,239 at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild moved into a tie for the most wins (15) and points (31) in the Western Conference.
Actually, only one team (Toronto, with 16) has more victories than the Wild and only three (Toronto, Florida and Washington, with 33) have more points.
Overall, this is Wild's best showing in franchise history through 22 games.
"That fits right where we should be, where we expect to be," said Jordan Greenway, whose career-high three-point effort vs. Arizona helped the Wild tie its longest win streak of the season. "We've been playing well enough to be at the top of the leaderboard. So, yeah, I think that's where we should be and that's where we should stay for a while."
No team has scored more in the NHL than the Wild since Nov. 2, with 61 goals.
The team has racked up four or more goals in 11 of its past 14 contests, and the 23 tallies over the past four home games is a franchise record. Its eight wins in St. Paul are tied for the most in team history through 10 home games.
Three second-period goals recalibrated the Wild against the Coyotes after an uneven beginning, and multiple lines were leading the way.
Tied at 1, Kirill Kaprizov's seventh goal floated through traffic at 7 minutes, 20 seconds of the second to give the Wild a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Greenway tallied his first goal of the season after getting a piece of a Jon Merrill shot at 14:19 while setting a screen in front of Arizona goalie Scott Wedgewood. Then, with four seconds left in the period, the Wild went up 4-1 on a slapshot from Jonas Brodin.
"To see them respond how they did in the second period was real, real good," coach Dean Evason said.
Kaprizov and Ryan Hartman each picked up an assist on Brodin's goal, continuing their recent prowess.
While Kaprizov has 14 points over the past seven games, leading the NHL in points during that span and tied for the fifth-most points in the league overall, Hartman is on a season-high four-game point streak and has 14 during his past 13 games after also assisting on Kaprizov's goal.
This assertive second period by the Wild came on the heels of the team playing catch-up after Clayton Keller scored 5:58 into the first for the Coyotes.
But the Wild quickly evened the score, with Joel Eriksson Ek pouncing on a loose puck at 7:06. Greenway assisted on the play and with two more points later, he doubled his output for the entire season in one game.
"He stepped up and played a great game for us," linemate Marcus Foligno said.
Like in the first period, Arizona applied quality pressure in the third and even ate into its deficit on a bouncing shot by Anton Stralman at 5:58.
But Wild backup goalie Kaapo Kahkonen fended off the Coyotes the rest of the way, turning aside 29 total shots, and Foligno delivered an insurance marker at 7:42 into the third to seal his ninth goal, another assist for Greenway and one for Brodin.
Wedgewood had 32 stops for the Coyotes, and neither power play scored; the Wild went 0-for-4, and the Coyotes were 0-for-2.
The Wild finished November 10-3-1, trailing only the Maple Leafs in wins and points, and managed to continue its run despite playing with only 11 of its usual forwards.
Frederick Gaudreau was scratched after entering the NHL's COVID protocols. Rather than call up a forward from the minors, the Wild decided to play defenseman Calen Addison as a reward for his diligent work.
Addison found out about the assignment after he arrived at the arena two hours before puck drop.
"I just showed up," he said, "and my name was third line right wing."
The team was also missing captain Jared Spurgeon and winger Mats Zuccarello because of injuries, but this recent rash of adversity hasn't stalled the Wild. Instead, the team has climbed into a coveted spot.
"We have to have that confidence and have that swagger this year that we are really good and we expect to be at the top," Foligno said.