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Postgame Hat Trick: Devils 5, Wild 4 (OT)

Hischer's goal in overtime delivers fourth point for Minnesota on Friday night in St. Paul

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-4 overtime loss against the New Jersey Devils at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday night:

1. New Jersey staged a late rally to win in overtime.

Kyle Palmieri and Ben Lovejoy scored third-period goals to tie the game 4-4 headed to the extra session. 

There, Nico Hischer scored with 1:41 left to earn the bonus point. 

No way around it; this may be the most disappointing loss of the Wild's season.

2. Minnesota got offense from everywhere.

Among the Wild's goal scorers on Friday were Brad Hunt, a defenseman playing forward, Joel Eriksson Ek, a Devils killer who now has five goals on the season, and defenseman Nick Seeler, who had just one goal in his previous 76 NHL games entering the night. 

Mikael Granlund is no stranger to points, but his tally on the Wild's fourth goal of the game was just his fourth since Nov. 13. 

Even Kyle Rau got into the act, setting a solid net-front screen on Seeler's goal while also earning the second assist on the tally. It was his first point this season with Minnesota and fifth point in 41 NHL games.

3. The Wild took a 1-0 lead.

It hasn't happened often this season, as Minnesota scored the game's first goal for just the 20th time in 58 games. In 11 of the previous 19 contests, the Wild came away victorious.

Doing the damage early was Hunt, the man Wild coach Bruce Boudreau dubbed the team's "power-play specialist" on Friday morning.

Sure enough, just 29 seconds into the Wild's first power play of the night, there was Hunt, gaining control of the puck near the left faceoff circle and going right to the front of the goal, flipping a quick backhander through goaltender Keith Kinkaid for his fourth goal of the season, and second in five games with Minnesota. 

Boudreau's assessment of Hunt as the team's specialist rings true. The former Bemidji State Beaver now has 10 points this season, with six of them coming on the power play. In his career, Hunt has now played in 96 games. He's posted 37 points in those contests, with 21 of them coming with the man advantage.

Hunt also assisted on Seeler's second goal of the season in the second period, giving him his second two-point game this season.

Playing time has been at a premium for Hunt all season long. He played in just 13 games with the Vegas Golden Knights before his trade to Minnesota on Jan. 21. He suited up in his first four games with the Wild but had been healthy scratched in the team's last four games since Feb. 5. 

What better way to indoctrinate yourself back into the lineup?

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