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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 5, Lightning 4

Zuccarello's three-point night powers Wild past Lightning Thursday in Tampa

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-4 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on Thursday night:

1. The Wild got into a track meet with one of the NHL's most explosive offensive attacks ... and won.

In doing so, Minnesota ran its points streak to 11 games and secured, at the very least, a winning road trip ... with one more game remaining on it Saturday night in Raleigh. 

What a crazy game though.

Minnesota trailed early, then gained the lead. Gave it up, then led a second time. Then gave it up, only to get the lead back eight seconds later. 

Video: MIN@TBL: Zuccarello wires in wrister from the slot

It's not advisable to get into a goal-scoring contest with a team as deep and as dangerous as Tampa Bay, but the Wild managed to survive on Thursday, doing so without the services of arguably their best defenseman in Jared Spurgeon, who was sent home Wednesday with an upper-body injury, and without captain Mikko Koivu, who missed the game with a lower-body ailment.
 

2. Every time the Lightning punched, the Wild punched back.

Video: MIN@TBL: Eriksson Ek pots Greenway's centering feed

Erik Cernak scored 1:52 into the contest, then had an expected push. But eventually the Wild would even the game on a goal by Joel Eriksson Ek at 9:33 of the period. 

That seemed to energize the bunch. 

Video: MIN@TBL: Zucker finishes gorgeous passing play

Just 73 seconds later, Jason Zucker capped a beauty of a give-and-go with Eric Staal by firing into an open net for his 11th goal of the season. 

On the very next shift, Carson Soucy's point shot deflected off someone in front, but got through traffic and then through the wickets of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for a 3-1 lead.

In all, it was three goals in a span of 1 minute, 41 seconds, which tied a franchise record for fastest three goals on the road. 

Tampa Bay would score the next two goals, one late in the first by Mikhail Sergachev and another late in the second by Victor Hedman to briefly tie the game, but again the Wild answered.

Video: MIN@TBL: Rask scores in 2nd period

This time, Soucy's big blast from the point went just wide of the cage, but Kevin Fiala pushed it to the crease, where Victor Rask poked it in for his third goal with 36 seconds remaining in the second.

Then in the third, Tampa Bay would again tie the game on a goal by Alex Killorn. 

Only eight seconds would elapse, however, until Minnesota earned its third lead of the game. This time it was Mats Zuccarello finishing off a rush opportunity following a faceoff win by Staal and a pass from Zucker.

Zuccarello finished with a goal and two assists for his first three-point game in a Wild sweater.


3. Soucy seems to have found his offensive stride.

Not known as a big-time offensive contributor coming through the Wild's system, Soucy contributed his first multi-point game in the NHL and has now scored a goal in back-to-back games. 

Video: MIN@TBL: Soucy banks goal in off defender's stick

He tallied his first career game-winning goal Tuesday night at Florida.

Soucy now has three goals in 26 games with Minnesota this season after scoring just five in 66 games with Iowa all of last season and one in 67 games the year prior. 

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