Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Sunday night:
1. Minnesota couldn't overcome an early deficit.
The Wild had a couple of quality chances early on but couldn't convert on Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington. That left the door open for the Blues, who scored twice in the middle of the first period to make life difficult for Minnesota.
Jordan Kyrou scored at 11:03 to get the Blues on the board, with former Wild defenseman Marco Scandella tallying his first point as a Blue on the first assist. Brayden Schenn pushed the lead to 2-0 just 3 1/2 minutes later.
Allowing two early goals to the best team in the Western Conference is not a good recipe, especially at home. Especially one with a goaltender as talented as Jordan Binnington. It proved too large a hole to overcome.
2. Marcus Foligno gave the Wild life, however.
The big winger scored his 10th goal of the season 1:43 into the second period, and all of the sudden, there was some noise inside Xcel Energy Center.
Video: STL@MIN: Foligno bounces shot off Binnington and in
Had Minnesota been able to tie things up, you get the sense the result might have been different. Instead, it was Oskar Sundqvist depositing a bad turnover by the Wild past Devan Dubnyk and pushing the Blues lead back to two goals, one that would get extended to three in the opening minutes of the third period.
The Wild remains winless against the defending Stanley Cup champs this season, dropping to 0-2-1. If Minnesota can remain in the playoff hunt, the final matchup between the clubs could prove large as the Wild travels to St. Louis for a game March 29, the start of a four-game road trip to end the regular season for Minnesota.
3. The NHL announced the Wild's opponent for the 2021 Bridgestone Winter Classic ... and it's a familiar name.
Indeed, the Blues will be the team Minnesota hosts at Target Field on Jan. 1, 2021. While the Wild will be appearing in the New Year's Day classic for the first time, it will be the second appearance for the Blues, who hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2017 event at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, a game the Blues won 4-1.
Video: Mauer, Morneau reveal Wild's Winter Classic Opponent
The 2021 edition of the gme will mark the 13th Winter Classic and the NHL's 31st outdoor game overall.
Ticket information for the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be announced at a later date. Minnesota Wild Season Ticket Members, suite and premium seat holders will be given the first opportunity to purchase 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic tickets. For more information about the game, to receive alerts when ticket information becomes available and to enter for a chance to win tickets to the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, please visit Wild.com/WinterClassic.