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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 6, Avalanche 4

Zuccarello, Rask, Suter score third-period goals as Minnesota rallies late in Denver

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 6-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center in Denver on Friday night:

1. Don't call it a comeback. OK, call it a comeback.

When Matt Calvert scored his second goal of the game early in the third period, it looked like things were trending away from the Wild. Nathan MacKinnon had been credited with a goal in the final minute of the second, and Calvert's tally just 93 seconds into the third had managed to turn a one-goal Wild lead into a one-goal Wild deficit. 

But as this team has repeatedly done, it answered the bell.

Video: MIN@COL: Zuccarello buries rebound to tie it

First, Mats Zuccarello scored a beauty of a goal, kicking a Jonas Brodin rebound with his right skate to the blade of his stick and beating Pavel Francouz at 10:41, re-tying the game at 4-4. 

Then, just over a minute later, the Wild's relentless forecheck forced a turnover in the neutral zone and Victor Rask took advantage, cruising in down the left-wing wall 3-on-2 and firing a shot off the far-side post and in to give Minnesota the lead once again. 

Video: MIN@COL: Rask puts Wild ahead in 3rd

Ryan Suter would add an empty-net goal with 1:12 remaining to ice things.

It was yet another crazy game with a crazy ending, but it was a heck of a way for the Wild to finish off a long day on the road in a game where it weathered plenty of adversity.

2. What was an outstanding start for the Wild went completely sideways in a hurry.

Carson Soucy opened scoring 5:33 into the game, and Eric Staal doubled the Wild's pleasure less than four minutes after that, giving Minnesota an early two-goal advantage on the road.

Video: MIN@COL: Soucy fires shot past screened Francouz

A penalty by Soucy late in the period seemed to turn momentum.

The Wild killed Soucy's interference minor, but 73 seconds later, Matt Calvert screened Devan Dubnyk in front and tipped a shot by Ian Cole.

Just 46 seconds elapsed before the game was tied, when Gabriel Landeskog split a pair of Wild defensemen then beat Dubnyk with a nifty backhand shot, tying the game at 2-2 with 50 seconds left before intermission. 

3. A pair of reviewed goals went against the Wild in the second period.

After Joel Eriksson Ek appeared to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead, Colorado challenged the play at the line for offsides. After a lengthy look, it was deemed that Marcus Foligno had not properly touched up on a line change and that the Wild's goal would not count. 

Video: MIN@COL: Hunt hammers home power-play goal

Brad Hunt would give the Wild a 3-2 lead later in the period before Colorado would apparently tie the contest once again in the waning moments before intermission. Defenseman Cale Makar fired the puck at Nathan MacKinnon and it deflected in off his left skate.

Was it kicked? Or was it intentionally redirected? Believe it or not, there is a difference in the rule book. Any sort of kicking motion would have disallowed the goal. Different people have different interpretations, but the one that mattered -- in Toronto -- deemed the goal legal.

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