GLENDALE, ARIZ. – Nick Bjugstad was familiar with the setup, a crafty sequence in which a wraparound turns into a no-look, behind-the-back pass.
He called it the Russian nod, and this time when the play popped up, a Russian was the one sending him the puck.
"It was pretty cool," Bjugstad said.
The Coyotes became the latest team in the West Division to get an ice-level view of Wild rookie phenom Kirill Kaprizov and, like he has so far in his young NHL career, Kaprizov put on a show — orchestrating two goals, including Bjugstad's highlight-reel finish, in the 5-1 rout Friday in front of 2,541 at Gila River Arena that ended the Wild's two-game slide.
"He's such a special player," Brad Hunt said. "When he gets the puck, something's going to happen every time he has it."
Overall, this was a balanced takeoff for the Wild offense after it sputtered in the 5-1 loss in Vegas on Wednesday; five different players scored and eight had points, which drew cheers from the smattering of Wild fans in attendance.
But after a pointless start to this road trip, Kaprizov's line with Mats Zuccarello and Victor Rask rediscovered its chemistry, with Kaprizov and Zuccarello especially in a groove.
Kaprizov scooped up a Coyotes faceoff win and fed the puck to Zuccarello for a blistering shot over goalie Antti Raanta's glove to start the scoring parade 4 minutes, 27 seconds into the first period.
Hunt, in a rare appearance, followed that up with his first goal of the season — a floater from the blue line that squeaked through Raanta's pads at 13:18.
And then just 1:09 later, Kaprizov had the play of the night when he found Bjugstad with a seeing-eye pass after faking the wraparound.
"It was an absolute gift from Kirill," Bjugstad said.
Kaprizov's 19 points lead the Wild and NHL rookies, and his 13 assists are also tops among rookies. He has 10 points in his past nine games.
Only three rookies in Wild history have had more multi-point efforts than Kaprizov's five, with the 23-year-old closing in on Kurtis Foster's record (seven).
As for Zuccarello, he has 13 points over his past nine outings. All four of his goals this season have opened the scoring for the Wild.
"Those guys are making plays," Bjugstad said. "You get Zuccarello bringing his confidence to our team and making plays, it kind of trickles down to everyone. That confidence is definitely needed throughout our lineup."
Jordan Greenway and Marcus Foligno, who assisted on Hunt's goal, combined on another goal in the second when Foligno sprung Greenway for a breakaway that Greenway buried five-hole at 5:08 of the second period after going to the bench to retrieve a stick — which happened to belong to Ian Cole.
"I think I should at least get a second assist, maybe a third assist," Cole said.
Both Greenway and Foligno ended up with two points in the game. Foligno is up to 10 over his past seven games — including six on his season-long three-game point streak. Neither power play scored, with the Wild 0-for-4 and Coyotes 0-for-3.
Raanta totaled 22 saves, and Kaapo Kahkonen had 24; Arizona didn't ruin his shutout bid until 4:59 into the third period, a shot just under the crossbar by Clayton Keller. Overall, Kahkonen has won six in a row, stopping 152 of 162 shots in that span.
"He's honestly a big part of our team," Hunt said.
With 1:14 to go, Kevin Fiala tacked on a fifth Wild goal — a slick finish after eluding two defenders with one hand on his stick.
"To be able to close the game out like we did," Cole said, "was a step in the right direction."