The stalls in the visiting locker room at United Center were the same, and many of the Wild players occupying them reverted to their old spots.

Mikko Koivu was in the same stall. So were Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

But in the building where the Wild's postseason came to a swift end less than six months ago, a different Wild team playing a different system delivered a decisive 5-3 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions Saturday night.

It was a team effort, players said. But it was brought on by a group that was absent from the playoff series that Chicago won in five games last season.

Jason Pominville, who missed the first three games of the series, scored two goals; Mikael Granlund, who didn't play in the series; recorded two assists, and Niklas Backstrom, who was injured in warmups for Game 1, returned between the pipes in a dominating effort.

"We did a lot of really good things and obviously won a big game tonight," coach Mike Yeo said.

After a few offseason acquisitions and the emergence of a few young players, the Wild showed Saturday they're a different team from the one that couldn't keep up with the Blackhawks in May.

Rookie Justin Fontaine scored; Nino Niederreiter, acquired in July, continued to play well; and Matt Cooke, a free-agent acquisition, was a big part of a penalty kill that allowed only one Chicago goal on seven power-play chances.

"It's a lot different," Kyle Brodziak said. "There are quite a few new faces, but not only that, it's what we've been working on since the beginning of the year. That makes us a lot different team to play."

What they've been working on is a new system created by Yeo after the playoff series loss. After scoring seven goals in the five playoff games, Yeo made adjustments designed to improve puck possession and zone entries.