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NHL - US Sports: Kaprizov shrugs off pressure

Forward Kirill Kaprizov insists he feels no pressure in the Stanley Cup playoffs after he scored a hat-trick to help the Minnesota Wild tie their Western Conference First Round series with the St. Louis Blues at one.

The Wild, 18/1 to be crowned champions in 2021/22, won game two 6-2 on Wednesday after being shut-out in game one 4-0 on Monday.

Wild respond

Kaprizov led the Wild for goals (47), assists (61) and points (108) in 81 regular season games, his second in the NHL. His points tally was the most by a player in Minnesota history.

In his debut campaign, the dynamic 25-year-old had 27 goals, 24 assists for 51 points in 55 games as he was named the Calder Trophy Winner as Rookie of the Year.

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Kaprizov was limited to three points (two goals, one assist) in last season's playoffs as the Wild were beaten in seven games by the Vegas Golden Knights.

The winger says that experience has served him well, teaching him how to deal with key moments and proof came when the Wild needed him most on Wednesday.

Kaprizov on mindset

Minnesota came into the First Round series with home ice advantage after finishing second in the Central Division (53-22-7) four points ahead of the Blues (49-22-11).

Kaprizov said to the media: "I don't feel the pressure. It's just up to me and all the players to score goals, and had we scored those goals in the first game, obviously it would be different. But overall, I think the team did that today. We were able to score the goals when we needed to, and so we all take the onus on ourselves to be better and focus on the next game."

Game three takes place on Friday in St. Louis.

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