Duck goalkeeper John Gibson blocks the puck in the first phase of Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minnesota (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs).

Anaheim Ducks’ Max Comtois, 53, shoots the puck against Kaapo Kahkonen, 34, of Minnesota Wild in the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota (AP Photo / Stacy) Bengs)

Anaheim Ducks’ Max Comtois, 53, celebrates with teammate Trevor Zegras, 46, after scoring a goal in the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota against the Minnesota Wild scored (AP Photo) / Stacy Bengs)

Victor Rask (49) of Minnesota Wild celebrates with his teammates Mats Zuccarello (36) and Kirill Kaprizov (97) after playing in the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul scored a goal against the Anaheim Ducks. Minn. (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Carson Soucy, 21, of Minnesota Wild follows the puck against Sam Steel (23) of the Anaheim Ducks during the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs).

Nick Bonino, 13, of Minnesota Wild controls the puck against Derek Grant, 38, of Anaheim Ducks during the first phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs).

Linesman Ryan Galloway, 82, lets the puck in between Sam Carrick, 39, of Anaheim Ducks and Nick Bonino, 13, of Minnesota Wild during the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 St. Paul, Minn (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Anaheim Ducks’ Adamheimrucks, 14, is surrounded by teammates after scoring a goal against the Minnesota Wild in the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota . (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Adam Henrique, 14, high fives teammate for Anaheim Ducks, on the bench after entering the second phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota Goal against the Minnesota Wild had scored. (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

The Ducks Trevor Zegras, right, controls the puck as Minnesota Wild’s Ryan Suter approaches in the second phase of Friday’s game in St. Paul, Minnesota. (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Joel Eriksson Ek of Sweden (14) of Minnesota Wild scores a goal against goalie John Gibson (36) in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota by Anaheim Ducks. (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Joel Eriksson Ek of Minnesota Wild of Sweden (14) high fives teammates on the bench after playing in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota ( AP) scored a goal against the Anaheim Ducks Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Anaheim Ducks’ Derek Grant, 38, celebrates with teammate Alexander Volkov, 92, after scoring a goal in the third phase of an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota against the Minnesota Wild scored (AP Photo) / Stacy Bengs)

Kirill Kaprizov, 97, of Minnesota Wild shoots the puck against Anaheim Ducks goalkeeper John Gibson, 36, for overtime on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota to win an NHL hockey game (AP Photo / Stacy) Bengs)

Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, 97, celebrates with his Swedish teammate Joel Eriksson Ek (14) after scoring a goal in extra time for the Anaheim Ducks during an NHL hockey game on Friday May 7th 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota. AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, 97, is surrounded by teammates after scoring a goal in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks during an NHL hockey game on Friday, May 7, 2021 in St. Paul, Minnesota to win. (AP Photo / Stacy Bengs)

Surprisingly, the ducks suddenly no longer look like a team in last place, ready to stow away the skates, sticks and pucks and go home and have a long vacation. They look like you’ve discovered something about yourself and finally found a way to be a cohesive team.

The Ducks were back on Friday, marginalizing the playoff-bound Wild until rookie Kirill Kaprizov won him 4-3 for Minnesota, with a goal of 17 seconds in overtime. Kaprizov ran down the right wing, using Jamie Drysdale as his screen, and chasing down his own ricochet.

Goalkeeper John Gibson had no chance of stopping Kaprizov from throwing the loose puck into the net at close range.

It wasn’t the result the Ducks wanted, of course, but it wasn’t just another lackluster loss in a season that had filled with them long ago. Not only did the Ducks force the game to OT after Derek Grant’s late goal, they also killed Josh Manson with a penalty two minutes before the end of normal time.

“I think we made a very resilient group out of the adversity,” said Ducks coach Dallas Eakins. “I think our minds have been calloused from all the difficult circumstances and the season we’ve had. As soon as you start coming out what you find difficult doesn’t seem that difficult anymore.”

The Ducks are 17-30-8 overall but also a believable 3-2-1 in their last six games. They began their season-end journey with four games, splitting two games with the Blues in St. Louis, dropping a 3-1 decision on Monday and taking a similarly stern 3-2 shootout win on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case at the start of the season,” said Eakins. “Part of it is that the team grows. It’s a team that matures. It’s guys with their legs under them. There’s a whole bunch of different things to get here. I’d like to have about 20 more ( Games) and see what happens. “

Adam Henrique returned to the duck lineup after being quarantined last week after a family member tested positive for COVID-19. His goal early in the second half allowed the Ducks to score the 2-2 draw. He also helped with Grant’s retention goal in the third.

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Victor Rask and Nico Sturm put Minnesota ahead with goals in the first half after Max Comtois put the Ducks 7-11 ahead. Trevor Zegras retrieved a loose puck in his own zone and zipped a pass in front of a grazing Comtois who converted to a runaway.

Joel Eriksson Ek brought Wild 3-2 up at 12:01 in the third half, but Grant countered the Ducks taking a 3-3 lead just 2:13 later, the third draw of the game went. The ducks then killed a penalty kick against Manson and skipped the wild on their third and final power play chance.

Manson returned to the line-up after seven games with an upper body injury. He played his usual aggressive game. At one point, after a post-whistle fracas in front of Gibson, he seemed to tell Eriksson Ek, “Don’t test me.”

“I just think we’re a much stronger, mentally tougher team right now because we’re struggling,” said Eakins. “We had some big penalties, especially at the end. We had some people in and out of the lineup, but they keep working for each other. ”

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