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Postgame Hat Trick: Golden Knights 3, Wild 2

Vegas rallies for first win against Wild on home ice Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-2 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Tuesday night:

1. Some Golden Knights history was made.

For the first time in seven all-time meetings, Vegas scored more than two goals. In fact, it was the first time in seven matchups the Golden Knights have scored something other than two goals (if you count a 2-1 shootout win in St. Paul last season, that is). 

The victory for the home team was the first time in four tries Vegas has beaten the Wild on T-Mobile Arena ice. Minnesota entered the game a perfect 3-0 in this building, and led 1-0 after 20 minutes on Tuesday. but the Wild couldn't take advantage of a number of power-play chances, and Vegas would eventually take advantage. 

The victory was also the first regulation win for Vegas against the Wild, the final team the Golden Knights had not yet defeated in a 60-minute game.

2. The Wild took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play late in the first period.

Minnesota committed the first infraction of the game, but killed the penalty with relative ease. It was the Wild who got the next three power plays, however, taking advantage in the final 60 seconds of the first period.

Just moments after a tripping penalty on Reilly Smith, Mark Stone was whistled for interference, giving the Wild a 98-second two-man advantage. 

It took just 23 seconds to take advantage.

Eric Staal and Mats Zuccarello played catch below the goal line, then moved their game above it, with Staal finding Zuccarello, who rifled a quick shot past Marc-Andre Fleury for his eighth goal of the season. 

Video: MIN@VGK: Zuccarello converts on two-man advantage

While Staal was credited with the first assist, which bumped his point streak to four games, defenseman Matt Dumba was given the second assist, which ended a lengthy dry spell for him on the scoresheet. The point was his first since Nov. 16, a span of 14 games, which matched the longest drought of his NHL career, a spell which lasted from Dec. 31, 2015 to Jan. 25, 2016.

3. It was a different looking lineup for the Wild.

The injury bug has hit the team just as it's started to roll in recent weeks. After losing Jared Spurgeon and Mikko Koivu in the same game on the last road trip, the start of the current one saw Jason Zucker sustain a lower-body injury, one that Bruce Boudreau hinted on Tuesday was related to the heavy dump in that he blocked with his skate in Chicago.

With Joel Eriksson Ek not on the trip and placed on injured reserve on Monday, the Wild recalled a pair of young centers, Nico Sturm and Luke Johnson from Iowa. Both Sturm and Johnson played on Tuesday night. 

Koivu was sent home on Tuesday, so he's out of the question for a return on Thursday in Arizona. The only player who seems close to potentially re-joining the lineup is Spurgeon, who looked good in practice here on Monday. 

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