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Postgame Hat Trick: Blackhawks 5, Wild 3

Staal scores 1,000th NHL point but Wild falls Sunday night at United Center

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-3 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center in Chicago on Sunday night:

1. Kaapo Kahkonen was the victim of some really bad bounces.

The Blackhawks scored four times with the Wild goaltender on the ice, and three of those goals came on deflected shots. 

Even Patrick Kane's first goal of the game, which gave Chicago an early lead, came after a video review showed his shot got over the goal line by just a couple of inches on what looked like two huge saves by the Finnish netminder. 

Kane's second of the game, a power-play goal, beat Kahkonen low after deflecting off Ryan Suter's stick.

After the Wild scored twice to rally, Chicago re-took the lead at 3-2 on a goal that was credited to David Kampf after he deflected a point shot by defenseman Connor Murphy.

With the game tied at 3-3 again in the third, Brandon Saad deflected another point shot, this one hopping over Kahkonen and into the goal with 6:17 remaining in the game. 

Kane would add an empty-net goal with 1:03 remaining to finish off a hat trick. 

The loss was just the second in regulation for Minnesota in the past 16 games overall.


2. Eric Staal's 1,000th point was a thing of beauty. 

After a pair of goals by Kane put the Blackhawks ahead 2-0 early, the Wild badly needed some momentum after getting its first power play. 

Staal provided that juice.

Nearly a minute into its man advantage, Staal, in the right circle, dished the puck back to Suter at the point. Suter gave it right back, feeding Staal with a perfect pass right in the veteran forward's wheelhouse for a big-time slapper that snuck under the crossbar for his 12th goal of the season and 1,000th point.

Video: MIN@CHI: Staal buries one-timer to reach milestone

In reaching 1K, Staal becomes just the 89th player in NHL history to reach the milestone and is the seventh active player to do so.

It also extended his red-hot play of late, giving him points in three-straight games. He has four goals and five points during that stretch. 


3. Kevin Fiala scored a pair of goals. 

On a breakaway in the first period at the tail end of a lengthy shift, Fiala was caught from behind before he could even get a shot off. 

Given another chance in the second, he didn't miss.

Video: MIN@CHI: Fiala beats Lehner on the break

With the teams skating 4-on-4, Suter put himself in a passing lane and blocked a Kane pass near the Minnesota defensive blue line. The puck squirted free in the neutral zone and was scooped up by Fiala, who broke in all by himself. He got Robin Lehner to commit then roofed a shot for his seventh goal of the season. 

But Fiala wasn't done. 

Video: MIN@CHI: Fiala credited with goal after delfection

Later in the second, Fiala entered the offensive zone 2-on-1 with Suter. Fiala appeared to center a pass towards the defenseman, but the puck deflected off the skate of Chicago defenseman Olli Maatta and past Lehner. 

It marked the 11th time in his NHL career that Fiala scored at least two goals in a game and second time since joining the Wild last February. 

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