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Associated Press

Kirill the thrill: Russian rookie Kaprizov big boost to Wild

Wary of all kinds of pressure on Kirill Kaprizov and resolute in their team-first culture, the Minnesota Wild tried to keep a lid on the fanfare enveloping his arrival in the NHL. “I was nervous about the incredible expectations, because our fan base has waited five years for this kid, and he’s had such success,” said general manager Bill Guerin, nodding to Kaprizov’s game-winner that gave Russia the 2018 Olympic gold medal and back-to-back seasons leading the Kontinental Hockey League in goals. Kaprizov intercepted a pass on Jan. 14 in Los Angeles, bolted toward the net on a breakaway, used a slick right-left move to try to deke goalie Jonathan Quick and managed to knock in the puck off his left skate for the overtime winner in the opener.

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