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Koivu's game-winner another sign of resurgence


The Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning battled through a thrilling matchup Friday night, concluding with a silky smooth game-winning shootout tally from Wild captain Mikko Koivu.

It was the latest in a long line of impressive performances for the 33-year-old, as Koivu is turning 2016-17 into his redemption campaign.

Through 53 games this season, Koivu has racked up 16 goals and 38 points. Not necessarily jaw-dropping numbers, but certainly impressive when considered in line with his production in recent years.

The captain’s 0.73 points per game pace ranks as his highest in four years. Even more impressive? Koivu’s goal-scoring pace of 0.31 tallies per game is the best he’s ever posted.

His 16 goals thus far are just one off of the sum he posted through the entirety of 2015-16. Should he hit 18 – certainly an attainable plateau – it would mark the veteran's highest goal total since 2009-10, when he posted a career-best 22 for Minnesota.

However, his current pace has him in line to set a new career-high this time around, with Koivu on track for 25 tallies by the Wild's final contest.

He definitely has all the help he needs to reach that mark. The Wild’s offense has been rolling through the rest of the league – and doing so by committee – ranking fourth-best in the NHL in goals per game with 10 different players boasting 10 goals or more.

While the club's youth helps them push forward towards their second ever division title, Koivu has played the role of captain exceptionally, and proved once again on Friday night why he's got the "C" stitched to his sweater.

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