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Friday Five: Top Moments of 2016-17

A look back at some of the best moments from the season that was

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Over the past few weeks, has reviewed some of the top performances from the 2016-17 campaign. In the final look back, here are some of the best moments from the historical season that was:

5. Expansion mates clash in historic New Year's Eve battle (Dec. 31, 2016)

While the Wild didn't come out on top in the game, Minnesota's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets makes the list simply because of its historical significance. 

Minnesota entered the contest riding a 12-game winning streak, a mark that was three games longer than its previous franchise record and would have been the longest in the NHL this season, had its opponent that night not been on a 14-game winning streak of its own.

The matchup marked the first time in the history of the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB that two teams with double-digit winning streaks played each other in a regular season game. 

Columbus won the game 4-2, extending its win streak to 15 games, a streak that would eventually stretch to 16 before a loss to the Washington Capitals a few days later. 

Along with Minnesota's 12-game winning streak, the Philadelphia Flyers and Calgary Flames each had 10-game winning spans, marking the first time in NHL history four teams have had winning stretches lasting at least 10 games in one season. 

Video: STL@MIN: Niederreiter tallies to delight of young fan

4. Gamble, the good luck charm (Dec. 11, 2016)

After kicking things off with arguably the best "Let's Play Hockey" call of the season, 7-year-old Obadiah Gamble stole the show during a second-period interview with FOX Sports North's Kevin Gorg.

Gamble, who was invited to the game as a part of Children's Hospitals of Minnesota night at Xcel Energy Center, began the interview with Gorg with a wave to his girlfriend. 

After some small talk, Gorg was about to send it back to Anthony LaPanta and Mike Greenlay in the booth when Wild forward Nino Niederreiter scored a goal.

While LaPanta's goal call has become a trademark in Minnesota, Gamble's unvarnished joy after Niederreiter's tally earned a special place in the hearts of Wild fans. 

Tweet from @thelnino22: I was so impressed with @obadiahspeaks goal call and now I'm impressed with his shot too! ������

 A few days later, Gamble was invited to Wild practice to spend some time with both Niederreiter and goaltender Devan Dubnyk while showing off a potent shot of his own. 

Video: LAK@MIN: Granlund cuts through zone, dekes for OT win

3. Granlund sinks the Kings in overtime (Feb. 27, 2017)

Speaking of unvarnished, few expected the overtime frame of the Wild's game against the Los Angeles Kings to last just 12 seconds. 

After a thrilling contest with plenty of goal scoring, Minnesota -- playing in its first game back after a five-day bye week -- and Los Angeles finished regulation tied at 4.

After a quick break, the teams went to 3-on-3 play in overtime, with Granlund and Mikko Koivu sent over the boards by Wild coach Bruce Boudreau to begin the extra time.

Even the most ardent Wild fan couldn't have predicted what came next.

Minnesota won the draw and defenseman Jared Spurgeon went to the right-wing wall to retrieve the puck, leaving it for Granlund near the defensive blue line.

The Finnish winger pounced on it with speed, cruising through the neutral zone and splitting a pair of Kings on his way to goaltender Jonathan Quick, beating the two-time Stanley Cup winner with a backhand-forehand move that lifted 19,000 fans to their feet just moments after they had sat down. 

Granlund's winner was a franchise record for fastest goal from the start of overtime, besting Koivu's previous team record by three seconds (March 29, 2012). 

2. Wild extends winning streak to 12 (Dec. 29, 2016)

Minnesota's lengthy winning streak saw many challenges along the way. Heck, it began on an overtime winner by Koivu in Edmonton. Victory No. 11 during the streak came in the Wild's first game back from Christmas break, a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the Nashville Predators. 

As it did so often during the streak -- and during the season -- the Wild overcame its fair share of adversity in win No. 12, as well.

After grabbing a 1-0 lead on a goal by Marco Scandella, the Islanders tied the game less than two minutes later. Six minutes into the second period, Eden Prairie native Nick Leddy gave New York the lead.

But Minnesota exploded for three goals in the span of 1:20 later in the period to take a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.

The Islanders would not go quietly, however, scoring twice in the first 1:37 of the third period to again threaten the Wild's record streak.

Video: NYI@MIN: Haula nets go-ahead goal off deflection

Fortunately for Minnesota, Erik Haula came through midway through the final period with a goal that put the Wild ahead for good. Granlund added an insurance marker with less than two minutes remaining, setting the stage for a historical matchup with the Blue Jackets 48 hours later.

1. Historic regular season capped with win in Arizona (April 8, 2017)

Despite a lull in mid-March that ended its hopes for its first division championship in nearly a decade, the Wild rebounded in time to give itself a chance at some history: A win in the season finale at Arizona would lift the Wild to heights never experienced before.

In order to accomplish it, the Wild needed to win each of its final four games. Victories at home over Colorado and Carolina to conclude the home portion of the regular season schedule got things started. A 4-3 win over the Avs at the Pepsi Center in the penultimate game of the campaign allowed Minnesota a chance at its winningest regular season ever.

All that separated the Wild from its best season was a win in the desert against the Coyotes in what would likely be Shane Doan's final NHL game.

It also marked Wild forwards Martin Hanzal and Ryan White's return to Glendale. Hanzal spent a decade with the Coyotes before being traded to the Wild at the end of February.

Video: MIN@ARI: Hanzal scores PPG in return to Arizona

Hanzal scored a goal in his return, an important insurance tally with less than six minutes remaining in regulation, to give the Wild a two-goal advantage, one it would sustain in a 3-1 win.

The victory gave Minnesota 49 wins, one better than the 2006-07 club and 106 points, two more than the same team, to provide one more new chapter in the Wild's history books.

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