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Postgame Hat Trick: Islanders 2, Wild 1

Minnesota drops second half of Big Apple back-to-back Sunday in Brooklyn

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 loss against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday afternoon:

1. Things are getting really tight inside the Western Conference playoff race.

With a bundle of matinee action happening around the League on Sunday, the Wild bore witness to teams around them gobbling up points.

St. Louis won 5-4 in overtime in Nashville, pulling into a tie for the top wild-card position in the West with Minnesota. Based on its one game in hand, the Blues actually control that spot as of now.

Simultaneously with the Wild and Islanders in Brooklyn, Chicago was playing Detroit and Colorado was playing Boston in other action that impacted Minnesota.

With 59 points, both the Blues and Wild are two points behind the Dallas Stars for third in the Central Division. 

Vancouver, the first team outside of a wild card spot in the West, sits just two points back at 57. Arizona, Chicago and Edmonton each have 53. 

2. Mikael Granlund followed up a good game by scoring his 13th goal of the season.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has made no bones about his desire to see Granlund shoot more, so much so, that he moved the winger back to his natural position of center prior to Minnesota's game in New Jersey on Saturday.

The results have been promising.

Granlund didn't find the scoresheet on Saturday but looked far more engaged and involved.

Video: MIN@NYI: Granlund slams home Zucker's pass for PPG 

He was rewarded with a goal on Sunday, his first since Jan. 7 and just his third in the past 39 games. 

The Wild has to hope that Granlund can get hot. He's shown that ability as recently as earlier this season, when he scored 10 goals in the first 17 games of the season. 

With 13 goals, Granlund now stands seven goals shy of his third-straight 20-goal campaign with 25 games remaining.

3. Somebody's streak was going to die on Saturday.

The Wild entered with a 6-0-0 record in daytime starts on the road this season.

The Islanders started with a 8-0-0 record playing on the second half of back-to-back games. After beating the Colorado Avalanche in overtime here on Saturday, that streak would also be on the line. 

Unfortunately for the Wild, its streak was the one to come to an end on Sunday. Still, 6-1-0 on the road in daytime starts (and 7-2-0 overall) isn't bad... and it's one that will get put on the line during its upcoming four-game homestand, that begins Tuesday in St. Paul against the Flyers.

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