STOCKHOLM -- A five-day break, a 10-hour flight across the Atlantic Ocean and an improved penalty kill proved to be a good mix for the Minnesota Wild.

Despite a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators in the 2023 NHL Global Series Sweden presented by Fastenal on Saturday, the Wild were able to come away with a better feeling about themselves.

Consider, when they left Minnesota on Tuesday, they had just lost 8-3 to the Dallas Stars to extend their regulation losing streak to three games.

“It has to be positive, and we believe it was,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “The group, they know they played well, we didn’t get the result, which is disappointing, but the process is correct.

“We just have to keep doing it over and over again and believe the process will allow you to have to success.”

One big reason for optimism was a Wild penalty kill that went 4-for-4 on Saturday after it allowed five power-play goals in the loss to Dallas.

“We realized we were giving teams a lot in the slot, and I think we were tighter, where we can get to those (pucks) before they do,” forward Marcus Foligno said, “Trying to block shots, trying to do those things and pay the price and we did those tonight, it was good.”

For the first time in four games, the Wild (5-8-3) took the lead in a game when Marco Rossi deflected Brock Faber’s point shot past Ottawa goalie Anton Forsberg at 6:22 of the second period.

MIN@OTT: Rossi scores tip-in goal in 2nd

But a bad line change at 3:22 of the third period cost them. Forsberg, noticing the Wild were changing, slid a pass all the way from his goal crease to the opposing blue line to a waiting Erik Brannstrom, who skated in and unleashed a blast that beat Minnesota goalie Filip Gustavsson.

“It was frustrating to give it up (the lead),” Foligno said. “We felt really good going into the third … and they had a couple of chances. I thought we were more in the positive than they were, and you just have to like the way we came to work.”

From there Gustafsson, playing in his native Sweden, kept the Senators off the board until Josh Norris scored the only goal of the shootout in the third round.

Gustavsson, who doesn’t have a win since Oct. 24, made 30 saves, a performance coming in front of several family members and friends.

“It was great,” the native of Skelleftea said. “Showing the NHL for the Swedish people, and then (having) lots of family members in the seats, it was very nerve-wracking at first, and then you just play your game that you’re meant to play.”

Evason, who said Gustafsson could start again Sunday when the Wild play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the finale of the Global Series (8 a.m. ET; BSWIX, BSN, NHLN, SNO), said the goalie was a big reason the Wild were able to get a point.

“’Gus’ was real good,” Evason said. “When he had to be, here was there. He looked very calm, wasn’t out of position and most of the saves were smothered, he definitely looked like himself.”

Despite the positive energy from getting the one point, there were still some concerning issues with the Wild’s game.

One is the continued struggles of forward Kirill Kaprizov. The 2020-21 NHL rookie of the year was held to one shot on goal in 21:31 of ice time. He has three goals in his past 12 games, and five on the season, after scoring 40 last season and 47 his rookie season.

“The same as we’ve talked about our starts, we’ve tried different things (to get him going),” Evason said. “Again, he’s such a game and willing guy, a competitor. It’s driving him as nuts as it’s driving you and everybody else. He wants to help his hockey club, but the bottom line is you have to get back to just going forward and working and competing.

“He’s doing that, and hopefully one of these games he has one of those breakout games that we’ve seen before that jump starts not only him, but the hockey club as well.”

And then there is the Wild power play, which was 0-for-4 on Saturday, and is 1-for-9 after scoring twice in five attempts against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 10.

“We weren’t happy with the power play tonight,” Evason said. “So, you fix one (penalty kill) and you have to work on another.”

Good or bad, the Wild, who’ve lost four in a row (0-3-1), didn’t have much time to dwell on the game with the Maple Leafs waiting for them early Sunday.

“We’re here to get four points,” Gustafsson said, “and we have one down and we will try to get two tomorrow.”

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