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Postgame Hat Trick: Avalanche 3, Wild 2

Minnesota drops lone exhibition in the Edmonton bubble Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Place

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-2 loss against the Colorado Avalanche at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon:

1. Matt Dumba got the Wild on the board, and that's a good thing.

The 2019-20 regular season was a disappointment in the eyes of Dumba, who scored just six goals in 69 games. This off an injury-shortened campaign the year prior where he scored 12 times in just 32 contests. 

Video: COL@MIN: Dumba scores on blazing one-timer

The key to that hot start was his production on the power play, where Dumba scored six times in two months, becoming one of the most dangerous pointmen in the League with the man advantage.

His goal on Wednesday? A power-play marker, and it was textbook in how it developed. Dumba showed off that patented one-timer on a brilliant cross-zone feed from Eric Staal that went right into Dumba's wheelhouse. 

Staal would go on to score himself later in the period when a pass from Carson Soucy hit him right in the chest. The puck landed right on the blade of his stick, and he stuffed it between Philipp Grubauer and the left post, tying the game at 2-2 late in the first period.

Video: COL@MIN: Staal's goal ties game in the 1st

2. Unfortunately for the Wild, Dumba's goal was the high point with the man advantage. 

It certainly wasn't for a lack of opportunities either, as Minnesota had seven more power plays after Dumba's goal early in the game. That included a four-minute chance in the third period with the Wild down a goal, one that resulted in only a couple of shots, much less quality chances. 

Special teams was something the Wild worked on during its final week of Phase 3, but it's not a surprise that it will probably be the final thing to come along now that the games have begun. 

On the flip side, the Wild killed four of five power plays for Colorado, which has one of the most potent man-advantage units in the game. The lone power-play goal was the game-winning goal by Gabe Landeskog 4:31 into the second period.

With three days before the games count -- and two more practices -- the Wild will have plenty to work on in those sessions in order to get its power play house in order. 

3. The goaltenders ended up getting a nearly even split of playing time. 

Alex Stalock earned the start and played the first 30 minutes, 30 seconds of the contest before Devan Dubnyk entered and played the rest of the game. 

Stalock allowed three goals on 17 shots, surrendering a pair in the first couple minutes of the game before settling in and allowing just one more over his final 25 minutes or so of play.

Dubnyk wasn't tested as often, but stopped all 12 of the shots he faced. He looked solid.

Wild coach Dean Evason said on Tuesday that he hadn't made a decision on a starter for Game 1 against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. The question is, how much will the performances of both goaltenders affect that eventual decision? 

Evason did indicate that he would reveal his starter, at least to whomever it ends up being, a day before the game, so we could know sometime on Saturday which way the head coach is thinking.

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