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Of the 23 starts Filip Gustavsson has made in the NHL, one happened at Xcel Energy Center. The new Wild goalie remembers the outcome of that November puck drop last year between the Wild and his former team, the Senators.

"[Kirill] Kaprizov scored in overtime," he said.

Now when Kaprizov faces Gustavsson, it will be during practice and not a game.

"It's going to be great," Gustavsson said. "There are so many good guys on this team that can score big goals. So, it's going to be nice to have them on my side."

At 24 years old, Gustavsson isn't just beginning a fresh start with the Wild after an offseason trade from Ottawa: He's also getting his first chance to be a fulltime NHLer as backup to Marc-Andre Fleury.

"It's a big year for me," Gustavsson said. "Last year of my contract, good opportunity here in Minnesota with a good team that can win a lot of games. So, for me, it's a super important year."

While Gustavsson's NHL experience is limited, his time between the pipes isn't.

Before Pittsburgh drafted him in the second round (55th overall) in 2016, Gustavsson competed in Sweden after first trying the position as a 6-year-old and then becoming a goaltender exclusively when he was 12.

"Someone had to be goalie when we played street hockey back home, and my younger brother is way more stubborn than I am and my dad refused to be a goalie," Gustavsson explained. "So, I had to do it."

Immediately he loved being in the crease because he was in action for the entire game and a "big factor" in deciding whether his team won or lost.

When he first debuted in the NHL in 2021, after the Penguins traded him to the Senators, Gustavsson did more of the former.

He was roving between the minors and taxi squad that year, but injuries to other goalies elevated him up the depth chart and he responded by going 5-1-2 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. A new goalie coach Gustavsson was working with helped him become more consistent and focused on his approach.

"I actually really enjoyed playing hockey that year," Gustavsson said. "So, I think that helped me a lot."

Last season, he was back to shuffling between Ottawa and the American Hockey League and although Gustavsson logged almost the same number of games in both leagues, his results in the AHL were better than the NHL where he finished 5-12-1. In July, he was sent to the Wild in a goalie swap that saw Cam Talbot join the Senators. Gustavsson is in the final season of a two-year, $1.575 million deal and will be a restricted free agent when it expires.

"It feels like in Ottawa I could do a real good game and we still lose the game," he said. "Here it feels like if I'm going to do a good game, the team is going to win."

Gustavsson went through a test run with the Wild on Tuesday when he started an exhibition matchup at Colorado, his first appearance of the preseason. Before leaving in the second period, a planned decision by the Wild, Gustavsson made 25 saves on 27 shots. He departed with the score tied 2-2.

"I would say that I'm not flashy," Gustavsson said. "Some goalies are more flashy and make the big saves. I try to be more in position to make the easy save. Of course, I'm going to need to make a few desperation saves when it's needed but try to be compact and calm."

That objective on the ice, to prevent the puck from entering the net, hasn't changed for Gustavsson. But his role has.

And he knows it.

"It's super exciting and super new for me, too," Gustavsson said. "The coaching staff and everyone expect more from me. It's exciting and nervous.

"… Being a little nervous is always a good thing. It makes you sharpen your mind and do your best."