Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-2 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Tuesday night:
1. Luke Kunin tallied his second goal of the season.
After going scoreless in each of his first three games, Kunin talled his second goal in his past three games. It's crucial for the Wild, who badly need big steps to be taken by the group of Kunin, Jordan Greenway and Ryan Donato.
Like his goal Saturday against the Penguins, Kunin's wrist shot came from a ways out. This time, Kunin beat Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen with a heavy snapper from the top of the left circle. Joel Eriksson Ek was helping the cause in front by screening the goalie, but Kunin's shot had enough mustard on it to leak through.
Video: MIN@TOR: Kunin nets long wrister to open scoring
The goal put the Wild ahead 5:30 into the first period and came after the team successfully killed a penalty less than a minute into the game.
2. Once again, however, the Wild let things unravel in the second period.
Perhaps the most disappointing early-season trend has been Minnesota's penchant for giving up goals in bunches. That was again the case on Tuesday, when the Wild surrendered four goals in the second, all in the span of just over 11 minutes.
Perhaps the most decisive point in the game came after Mitch Marner's goal 7:17 into the second gave Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Less than a minute later, Ryan Donato was sprung for a clear breakaway, but behind the play, Ryan Hartman was tagged for holding and play was stopped.
Just 10 seconds into the power play, a shot by Marner ricocheted off the glass behind Dubnyk and back in front of the goaltender, where Andreas Johnsson whacked the puck out of mid air and gave Toronto a 3-1 lead.
It was a giant turn of events.
Less than five minutes after Johnsson's goal, Auston Matthews potted his own rebound after another tough break -- literally -- when Jonas Brodin's stick snapped in two on a slap shot and turned the puck over.
3. #GerryTime made his NHL debut and scored a late goal
It's been a long time coming for the former Ferris State Bulldog and Iowa Wild fan favorite, who at this time last year, didn't even have an NHL contract.
But a 27-goal, 60-point breakout performance last year earned him a deal with Minnesota, and just six games into the 2019-20 season, there was Mayhew on Tuesday night in Toronto, skating in his first ever NHL game.
The Wyandotte, Michigan native had a dozen or so folks in the crowd, including his parents, Catherine and Gerald. He became the 84th player to make his NHL debut with Minnesota and 257th player in Wild franchise history.
At 26 years, 287 days, Mayhew also became the ninth-oldest player to make his NHL debut with the club.
With the game all but decided, Mayhew scored his first NHL goal with 1:02 remaining. He became the eighth player in Wild history to score his first NHL goal in his first NHL game with the team.