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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 5, Blues 1

Three-goal first period keys victory for Minnesota in St. Louis on Saturday

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-1 win against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Saturday night:

1. The Wild put together perhaps its best first period in a while.

Minnesota has made a habit of starting slow and showing enough stick-to-itiveness to rally late in games. 

That resiliency wasn't needed on Saturday as the Wild outshot the Blues 13-5 and led 3-1 after 20 minutes on goals by Eric Staal, Nick Seeler and J.T. Brown. 

Video: MIN@STL: Brown nets quick wrister on breakaway

As impressive as the first period was, Minnesota was even more dominant in the second, putting 20 shots towards the Blues cage and scoring once on Matt Dumba's shot from the slot. 

Video: MIN@STL: Dumba buries wrister from the slot

Minnesota held St. Louis to just nine shots on goal through 40 minutes, building a three-goal advantage heading to the third, which has been the Wild's best period through 12 games.

The win improved the Wild's record to 2-1-0 on its marathon seven-game road trip. Minnesota has won seven of its past eight games overall. 

2. Staal scored his 400th NHL goal.

In doing so, Staal became the sixth active player to reach the milestone, joining Alex Ovechkin (617), Patrick Marleau (537), Ilya Kovalchuk (421), Sidney Crosby (417) and Marian Gaborik (407) as current players to reach/surpass the 400 mark. 

Video: MIN@STL: Staal pots 400th NHL goal on nifty redirect

He also became the 96th player in NHL history to reach 400 and the first to reach 400 while skating for Minnesota.

The goal was his 75th in a Wild jersey. The first 322 goals of his career came with the Carolina Hurricanes while three more came in a 20-game stint with the New York Rangers in 2016.

The goal was also a big one; it gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead just 4:42 into the contest and kickstarted a three-goal first period in which the Wild outshot the home club 13-5, playing perhaps its best first period of the season.

3. Seeler scored his first NHL goal.

On a night when Staal showed off his longevity in the League, Seeler tallied goal numero uno, doing so in his 35th NHL game. 

Video: MIN@STL: Seeler beats Allen for first NHL goal

Of course, Seeler isn't paid to score provide much in the way of offense. He entered the game without a point in 12 games this season, earning his first point on Staal's goal, which came when Staal redirected a shot of Seeler's under the crossbar.

Just 45 seconds later, Seeler tried again, from almost the same spot, firing a shot towards Blues goaltender Jake Allen. The puck was again redirected, this time by St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo 

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