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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 5, Kings 1

Minnesota scores three times in the final period to pull away Saturday night in St. Paul

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Thursday night:

1. For the first time, it was #GerryTime in St. Paul.

The Wild rookie forward scored his second NHL goal on Saturday night, but his first in front of the home crowd. 

Unfortunately for Mayhew, as pointed out by Twitter follower Gina, the poor guy has yet to pull off a true celly in the NHL.

Why?

Well, his first goal in Toronto last week came with just over a minute left in regulation in a game the Wild was down by three goals in at the time. Not exactly prime time to raise those hands and go crazy ... and he didn't.

On Saturday, Matt Dumba banked a shot in off of him, and although he knew the puck had hit him, the goal was actually announced for Dumba and belonged to the defenseman until officials could review it during the first intermission. 

Regardless of the celebration afterward, it was an excellent job on the play by Mayhew. 

Video: LAK@MIN: Dumba's shot goes in off Mayhew in front

After Victor Rask was tossed from the face-off circle to Jonathan Quick's left, Mayhew stepped in and won the draw back just enough for Ryan Donato to swoop in and get the puck back to Dumba at the point. The Wild defenseman moved into position, then fired off what appeared to be the bottom of Mayhew's sweater and past Quick, giving Minnesota the lead 5:50 into the contest.

One of these days, Mayhew will get a chance to let loose. Hopefully he'll get to make up for lost time.


2. It wasn't a great second period for the Wild, but it was good enough.

Mayhew's goal in the first gave Minnesota the lead after 20 minutes, but the Kings mostly dominated the middle frame, outshooting the Wild by a 14-5 margin. 

When Ben Hutton's one timer eluded goaltender Alex Stalock 4:29 into the period, the game was tied at 1-1.

But that was all Stalock would allow the rest of the period, making several fantastic saves along the way to keep the Wild in it.

Finally, late in the period, the Wild took advantage of a turnover and came in on Quick 2-on-1. After passing on a similar chance earlier in the game, Eric Staal decided to do the work himself, firing a far-side snipe just under the crossbar, giving Minnesota the lead once again with 2:56 left in the period.

Video: LAK@MIN: Staal snipes one far-side past Quick

It was Staal's third goal of the season and third in the past three games. 


3. Welcome back Joel Eriksson Ek. 

The forward who missed three games after blocking three Shea Weber one-timers on one shift in Montreal nine days ago, pushed the Wild's lead to two goals 28 seconds into the third period. 

Video: LAK@MIN: Eriksson Ek jams puck home to extend lead

For the second time in the game, Dumba earned the first assist, sniping a shot on goal that Quick stopped but couldn't corral. Instead, it laid between his skates on the ice, where Eriksson Ek won a net-front battle by whacking the loose puck into the cage for his first tally of the season.  

Video: LAK@MIN: Koivu hammers home rebound to increase lead

Six minutes later, Mikko Koivu joined the goal-scoring party by tallying his first of the season, cleaning up a rebound left in front after Quick made a nice save on Marcus Foligno. Jared Spurgeon would also score as Minnesota reached five goals for the first time this season. 

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