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Postgame Hat Trick: Hurricanes 6, Wild 2

Minnesota's points and winning streaks come to an end Saturday night in Raleigh

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 6-2 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday night:

1. A pair of streaks went by the wayside.

For the first time in 12 games, the Wild did not secure at least one point in the standings. Minnesota's 11-game points streak was the second longest in franchise history and helped vault the team from last in the NHL standings to the second wild card position in the Western Conference.

Video: MIN@CAR: Zuccarello scores sweet wrist shot

Minnesota also saw its five-game winning streak draw to a close, sustaining a loss of any kind for the first time since an overtime loss to the New York Rangers 12 days ago. It was the Wild's first regulation loss since a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 12.

The points streak was not going to last the remainder of the season. It was bound to end at some point. Now, the Wild must try and start a new streak, and not let the loss linger any further than the flight back to Minnesota. 


2. The Wild felt the losses of Jared Spurgeon and Mikko Koivu on Saturday night.

Both players sustained injuries in the first game of the three-game sojourn and were sent back to Minnesota. The Wild overcame those injuries in a 5-4 win in Tampa on Thursday night, but their absences were clearly noted on Saturday in the trip's finale. 

Coach Bruce Boudreau opted to go with the same lineup that won the game over the Lightning, which meant recent call-ups Brennan Menell and Nico Sturm watched the game from the press box. 

Ryan Donato, an option to sit out had Sturm played, made the decision look good early, getting the Wild on the board with the game's first goal 2:21 in. 

Video: MIN@CAR: Donato puts home rebound

But the Hurricanes erased that lead with two goals in a six-minute stretch later in the first, including on the power play at 15:02. 

Sebastian Aho scored twice in the second period to push the Hurricanes' lead to two goals after 40 minutes. The second of which came again with the man advantage, marking the first time in exactly one month that the Wild's penalty-killing units allowed multiple goals in the same game. 


3. The Wild opens a three-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks. 

That wouldn't be so notable if it wasn't so notable.

Minnesota has played 20 of its first 30 games away from Xcel Energy Center, becoming just the second team in NHL history to do so. 

Amazingly, as we approach mid-December, the upcoming stretch at home will be the first homestand of three games or more this season. 

While the Wild's 11-game points and five-game overall winning streaks were snapped in Raleigh, there is still one more active streak sitting out there: the Wild's nine-game points streak on home ice (7-0-2). 

Tuesday promises to be an emotional night in downtown St. Paul as the Wild honors Koivu's 1,000th-game milestone before puck drop. Even though he won't play, the ceremony will go on as scheduled, so if you have tickets, be sure to get there early and get to your seat for what will be a fantastic show.

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