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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 3, Flyers 0

Dubnyk makes 30 saves for third-straight shutout victory

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Tuesday night:

1. Jason Zucker's quest for NHL history on Tuesday didn't last long.

It took all of 12 seconds for linemate Nino Niederreiter to become the first Wild player since Eric Staal eight days ago to score a goal, snapping Zucker's streak of six consecutive goals scored.

Video: PHI@MIN: Niederreiter capitalizes on early turnover

Zucker's mark was a franchise record and was tied for the second-longest streak in NHL history, one behind the record of seven, which had been accomplished just twice in the 100-year history of the NHL. 

"It's tough. I told him I was sorry, but I'm glad someone else scored finally," Niederreiter said with a laugh.

Staal earned the sole assist on Niederreiter's goal, snapping Zucker's streak of either scoring or assisting on Wild goals at seven. 

While Zucker's streak helped vault him to the pinnacle of the NHL's Stars of the Week mountain this week (he was named the First Star of the Week on Monday), the fact someone other than he was able to score came as a relief to coach Bruce Boudreau, who has given his permission for others to chip in offensively on several occasions since the streak began.

"Oh yeah. I'm glad somebody else scored. All year we talk about we're not a one-man team," Boudreau said. "We don't have Wayne Gretzky out there so we have to do everything by committee. The previous couple games, yeah, [Zucker] had great games. But we need contributions from everybody to succeed. 

Don't feel too bad for Zucker, though: He snapped his lengthy goal drought (sarcasm) with 37 seconds remaining in regulation when he fired the puck into an empty net.

Video: PHI@MIN: Zucker sends home long empty-netter

"I knew it was only a matter of time," Zucker said of the streak. "I knew we have too many good players for that to last even as long as it did to be honest. But yeah, I'm really glad that that's over now."

2. Devan Dubnyk was doing Devan Dubnyk things once again, making 30 saves for his third-straight shutout.

Only an honest crack at NHL history gets Dubnyk knocked from the top spot in the Hat Trick, but once Niederreiter snapped Zucker's streak, Dubnyk became the story of the game.

Video: PHI@MIN: Dubnyk shuts down Konecny's backhander

His performance in the second period alone was one of the best 20-minute stretches of hockey you'll ever see. At several points, it looked as though the Flyers were ready to bury the puck into an open net, only to see a Dubnyk pad or glove come flying in to knock it away.

He even channeled Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer on deflected shot from the point, picking it off a hop like Mauer would a bad throw from short.

Video: PHI@MIN: Dubnyk snags Lehtera's redirection in close

"It's been good. I feel confident in there. The biggest key for me is just finding pucks and making sure my feet are set. That kind of trickles down into everything else as far as moving around and rebound control and all that stuff," Dubnyk said. "It kind of starts with finding the puck and having my feet set. And the guys were doing a good job of letting me see it and that certainly helps as well."

Video: PHI@MIN: Dubnyk stones Laughton's try with his pad

The Wild also blocked 16 shots, double the amount blocked by the Flyers, as Dubnyk broke his own team record (individual) shutout streak, which now stands at 195 minutes, 5 seconds. 

Video: PHI@MIN: Dubnyk shuts the door on Weise's breakaway

"When I was opposing Minnesota the past seven years, you always came into the game knowing it was going to be hard generating chances. And when there was chances, it was going to be hard to score on Dubnyk," said Wild forward Tyler Ennis. "Now that I'm a part of the team, it's fun being on this side of it."

3. Surprisingly, Niederreiter's goal 12 seconds into the game was not a franchise record.

In fact, Zucker is one of two Wild players to score a goal 10 seconds into a game, last done by No. 16 last April at the Pepsi Center against the Colorado Avalanche. 

Niederreiter's tally a dozen seconds into the game tied the home record, previously held by former Wild winger and University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog Justin Fontaine on Oct. 12, 2013.

Video: Locker room postgame vs. Flyers

Scoring early was important for a couple of reasons; firstly, the Wild has struggled in previous Tuesday home games (a 1-0 loss to Vancouver and a 2-1 defeat to Winnipeg). And after going more than two scoreless periods with the Flyers on Saturday night, Minnesota wanted to stake its red-hot goaltender to an early lead.

"It's definitely huge for us. We know how big that home game is for us," Niederreiter said. "We came, obviously, out pretty well and got that goal early. After that, they had a big push and we just kind of played our game plan, make sure we didn't turn the puck over and went from there."

Video: Boudreau postgame vs. Flyers

"When you start a line you would really like that first shift to set the tone for the other shifts coming right behind them and obviously scoring in 12 seconds did that," Boudreau said.


Loose Pucks

• Philadelphia owned a 30-20 shots on goal edge, including a 17-7 advantage in the second period.

• Dubnyk earned his second assist of the season on Zucker's empty-net goal.

• Staal scored the Wild's first empty-net goal at 18:51 of the third, firing into the open cage with a delayed penalty on the Flyers.

Video: PHI@MIN: Staal, Granlund combine for empty-netter

• In addition to Staal and Dubnyk, Mikael Granlund Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon each had one assist.

• Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott finished with 17 saves.

• Minnesota's penalty kill went 2-for-2 on the night and is now 31-for-33 over its past 10 games.

• The Wild's annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness night included lavender jerseys worn during warmups and a ceremony to honor six children who have battled cancer, each representing one of the club's six partner Hockey Fights Cancer charities.

• Attendance: 18,768


He Said It

"He is seeing the puck right now and his reflexes are on fire. We will take it as long as he can give it." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Devan Dubnyk


They Said It

"We can't get scored on that early, first shift of the game. They caught us maybe a little asleep to start and the first forecheck they create a chance like that and then we're fighting from behind, you don't want to do that ever." -- Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott


Three Stars

* Devan Dubnyk 

** Nino Niederreiter

*** Tyler Ennis

Video: Dubnyk, Wild shut down Flyers at home, 3-0

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