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Postgame Hat Trick: Canadiens 4, Wild 0

Habs tally three goals in the first period en route to win Thursday at Bell Centre

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-0 loss against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre in Montreal on Thursday night:

1. It was a lightning-quick sequence again that did the Wild in early.

Goals against in bunches has been an early theme, and after surrendering the game's first goal at 14:37 of the opening period, it didn't take Montreal long to add on.

Just 1:55 elapsed between Victor Mete's first NHL goal and a power-play goal by Joel Armia, making it 2-0. Less than two minutes after that, Nick Suzuki scored his first in the NHL -- in the final minute of the period -- to make it 3-0 after 20 minutes.

It doesn't matter who you are, a three-goal first-period deficit isn't an easy hole to dig out of. Three goals in 4:46 makes it a difficult climb on the scoreboard and mentally, especially when it's been an issue in nearly every game. 

2. The end result spoiled what was perhaps the gutsiest sequence of the young season for the Wild.

With just under five minutes gone in the second period, Joel Eriksson Ek stepped in front of not one, not two, but three big blasts by Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber in a single shift.

Weber, of course, possesses one of the hardest shots in the League.

Moments after Montreal began a 5-on-4 power play, the Canadiens worked the puck back to the point for a one timer that Weber got just about all of, buckling Eriksson Ek immediately after hitting him in the left leg.

The Habs collected themselves quickly, not allowing Eriksson Ek off the ice, doing work along the right-wing wall. Drouin dished down by the net then got the puck back and fed Weber at the point again for another one timer, this time knocking Eriksson Ek to his hands and knees. 

Tweet from @HeresYourReplay: Joel Eriksson Ek is gonna be black & blue.He blocked 3 of Weber's blasts. #Habs #mnwild

A few seconds later, Drouin set up Weber for yet another one timer. Again, it was blocked by Eriksson Ek, who was finally able to stumble to the bench and get some pats on the head from teammates. 

Even the Canadiens faithful in the stands gave Eriksson Ek a loud cheer as he made it back to the bench. 

3. With a three-goal lead, the Canadiens simply salted the game away.

Minnesota wasn't able to generate much in the way of offensive chances or even shots on goal, finishing the game with 17 shots. 

Montreal extended its lead to four goals 12:40 into the third on a goal by Brendan Gallagher, a goal which all but ended the game. 

The Wild finished its road trip with a 1-2 record and will return home for two games, beginning Sunday against these same Canadiens. 

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