Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Wednesday night:
1. The Wild once again struggled to close against an opponent on the road.
Unlike Tuesday, when Minnesota held a two-goal lead headed to the final period, the Wild was tied at 1-1 at the second intermission on Wednesday.
It had played a really solid game up until that point too, outshooting the defending Stanley Cup champs by a 23-20 margin and generally going step-for-step with them.
But early in the third, it was Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo accepting a pass from David Perron at the right circle, making a nice deke to get Devan Dubnyk on the ice, then depositing a shot under the crossbar to give the Blues a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
The loss dropped the Wild to 1-8-0 away from Xcel Energy Center, a stunning reversal from last year, when the Wild was actually one of the most efficient road teams in the Western Conference.
The Wild made a heavy push over the final five minutes, but ultimately could not get the tying goal past Jordan Binnington, who finished with 35 saves.
Dubnyk, in his first game back from an upper-body injury, made 24 saves in a long effort.
2. Mats Zuccarello joined the goal-scoring parade in the second period.
Not long after Sammy Blais gave the Blues a 1-0 lead, the line of Zuccarello, Eric Staal and Jason Zucker spent an entire shift in the offensive zone. The effort culminated in Zuccarello working a sweet give-and-go with Staal, with the latter finding Zuccarello battling for position in front. After missing on his first whack at the puck, Zuccarello connected on the second, beating Jordan Binnington for his first goal as a member of the Wild.
Video: MIN@STL: Zuccarello buries Staal's feed in tight
For Zuccarello, it was his first goal in the regular season since Feb. 24, his first game following a trade to the Dallas Stars. Zuccarello broke his arm in the game and spent the entire month of March on the sidelines before returning in time for the playoffs.
3. What's old is new again.
The Wild wrapped up a tough month of October Wednesday night in St. Louis, but these two clubs won't have to wait long for a rematch. The Blues will come to St. Paul on Saturday as the Wild aims to open the month of November on a much better note.
The Wild hasn't been home much over the first several weeks of the season, but it is 3-1-0 at Xcel Energy Center and will bring a three-game winning streak on home ice into the game on Saturday.