Kirill Kaprizov has long awaited breakout game in win over Stars – [Update News]

Dean Evason — and his coaching staff, which he’s always quick to credit — has pushed the right buttons during much of his parts of three seasons behind the Wild bench.

Thursday night Evason made major changes to his lines following a game where he felt that some players were playing too individualistic, overextending their shifts and not working hard enough.

The coach is loath to publicly criticize his players, so the only reasoning he’d reveal earlier Thursday was that he hoped “it energizes some people,” and “Kirill and Zuccy, it doesn’t matter, they’re going to play with another Minnesota Wild player, so that’s all they should care about.”

Yeah, you didn’t need to have the hockey intellect of a Scotty Bowman, Toe Blake, Al Arbour or Jon Cooper to realize this was all designed to send a message to Kirill Kaprizov, who was coming off one of his worst games in two years with the Wild, and perhaps even Mats Zuccarello, who tried his darnedest Tuesday night against San Jose to force passes in a clear attempt to jump-start his struggling friend and linemate.

Thursday night was a 7-2 win for the Dallas Stars. Kaprizov & Zuccarello were separated in the first time since the two talented wingers began to play together last February.

Well, until they weren’t.

It almost became comical, but the bosom buddies wound up on the ice together each time Evason’s four newly concocted lines were scrambled following penalty kills.