1. Down early
When playing on the road the last thing you want to do is play from behind. Unfortunately for the Wild, he faced a quick deficit that made life difficult for him from the start.
Dallas scored on each of his first two shots of the game, including Joe Pavelski’s 91-second in-game tally and Esa Lindell’s shorthanded scorer at 3:24.
Savage goalkeeper Cam Talbot was hard on himself afterwards, putting the blame on his bottom line moments before.
Video: Cam Talbot’s post-game in Dallas
“The first two shots of the match are played. It’s not a recipe for success, that’s for sure, ”said Talbot. “Obviously I dropped that one on the power play. I thought I might catch a few of their guys changing. It’s just bad judgment on my part. Leave it, let the guys come back and have a blast, it’s a different game. “
In the blink of an eye, Minnesota faced a multiple-goal deficit, but to its credit, he recovered, scoring a goal of Ryan hartman two minutes after Lindell’s and another by Kevin Fiala after a brilliant play by Marcus Foligno forced a turnover behind the Stars goal.
Video: MIN @ DAL: Hartman sneaks into lunge, shots feed
“We fought back, didn’t we? Said Wild coach Dean Evason. “We were very tough at the start. We had a few bad plays at the start. But we fought to come back to a level playing field.”
The new tied game, however, was short-lived.
Tyler Seguin scored 61 seconds after Fiala equalized and Dallas led by one goal after one.
Roope Hintz doubled the lead with an 8:02 power play marker in the second before Kirill Kaprizov made it a one-goal game again with his 12th at the end of the period.
From striking distance to start the final period, Fiala unleashed a quick shot from the crossbar that would have equalized the game again.
It was as close as the Wild would get.
Jacob Peterson completed a turnaround seconds later to make it 5-3 and Miro Heiskanen made it 6-3 a minute later.
Video: Marcus Foligno post-game in Dallas
“It’s difficult. You erase those two goals and maybe we will have a better result tonight,” said Foligno. “We just didn’t really hit our game. We turned a few pucks. Obviously we scored a shortcut goal so these things hurt. It’s just one of those things where we had our legs and our game after that.
“But when you spot two goals for a team, the chances of winning are pretty slim.”
2. The right time for a break?
When clubs are in the middle of a strong winning streak or playing their best, a few days off is usually the last thing a team wants.
With the Christmas holidays on the horizon (more details below), the Wild could use a few days to regroup.
After winning eight straight and scoring points in nine in a row, the Wild have lost each of their last four games, getting just one point in the standings during that streak.
Video: MIN @ DAL: Fiala clings to Foligno’s pass
“I think it’s probably good [to get a break]. Honestly, I think the most important thing in our game right now is just falling apart right now, “Foligno said.” There isn’t a lot of flow and you’re seeing big things again, but then there is a little lull or just a hiccup.
“We also get the puck at the back of our net. We used to get the rebounds and stay on the outside. Right now we’ve got a few goals against in the last two games. We just have to sharpen ourselves. . I think maybe that’s the state of mind. I don’t think it’s the work ethic. I think we’re doing it right, but we just have to play desperately. When we took the goalie out, we had full possession. You just want to see that desperation the whole game. “
He also saw the captain Jared spurgeon come down with an injury that Evason classified as not short-term. Monday, Joel Eriksson Ek was punched hard and awkwardly into the wall in the second period and did not return to play (upper body). Her status was not updated afterwards, but I hope the vacation will be enough to heal what is afflicting her.
Video: Dean Evason after the game in Dallas
Despite the tough final sprint until Christmas, Minnesota will enter the break atop the Central Division standings. He’s currently tied for first place in the Western Conference, awaiting what will be the last NHL game before the break on Tuesday night when Vegas plays host to Tampa Bay at T-Mobile Arena.
Forest for trees, right?
“We had bumps and bruises like everyone else in the league,” Evason said. “Probably a good time to rest a bit too.”
3. Christmas comes early
After the 2019-20 season ended in a bubble and the 2020-21 campaign played in makeshift divisions, the hope was that there would be more normalcy in 2021-22. Until November, the NHL largely avoided COVID-19-related cancellations, but that has changed in the past two weeks.
This certainly affected the Wild, who were able to avoid any full-scale breakouts within the club, but saw other teams they had to play with having to face their own cases. This has happened twice last week when home games against the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers were postponed, and it will happen again later this week as Minnesota’s game scheduled for Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings has already been postponed.
Video: MIN @ DAL: Kaprizov passes a hit to Oettinger
But the Wild will not be alone. Moments before the puck fell on Monday, it was announced that the entire NHL would be starting their vacation days early, after a pair of games on Tuesday night.
While this does not affect the Wild’s game schedule, Evason has indicated the team will practice on 22-23 before the previously scheduled break begins. It won’t happen now.
Instead, the Wild will host a lively practice session on Tuesday in St. Paul before a four-day layoff… before it’s time to wait again.
The teams were originally scheduled to return on December 27, with the Wild playing that night in Winnipeg. Clubs will now be allowed to return to their facilities on December 26. It has not yet been decided whether Minnesota will travel to Winnipeg for a game the next day, but the league has halted cross-border travel from Sunday to Christmas. Any extension of that policy would also postpone Minnesota’s first game after the break.
Video: MIN @ DAL: Fiala hits home from a strong post
If so, Minnesota will no longer be in action until the Jan. 1 Winter Classic at Target Field.
Evason indicated on Monday morning that he may need to get creative in terms of training and maintaining the Wild’s competitive advantage with the lack of games during his current schedule. This will certainly be the case after the holiday break, especially if the game in Winnipeg ends up being banned as well.
The bottom line is all this: stay tuned.
“It’s embarrassing right now, it’s the most important thing,” Foligno said. “You want to be ready, and obviously the league is throwing a curveball at everyone right now. You have to roll with the punches.”
- Kaprizov’s even-matched 29 points rank second in NHL
- Kaprizov finished with one goal and two assists
- Hartman’s goal extended his point streak to three games
- Zuccarello finished with two assists
- Alex Goligoski had a helper
- Talbot made 22 saves
- Heiskanen, Jamie Benn, Jason Robertson and Denis Gurianov each put in multi-point efforts for the Stars
- Lakeville native Jake Oettinger made 19 saves on 23 shots in the win
Dan’s three stars
1. Tyler Séguin
2. Roope Hintz
3. Kirill Kaprizov
Video: MIN Recap: Fiala scores a pair in defeat