Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-3 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday night:
1. Minnesota deserved better on Saturday.
For much of the game, the Wild was the far superior team on the ice. Minnesota outshot Toronto 41-23 for the game. Practically the entire third period was played in the Wild's offensive end of the ice, with the Wild outshooting the Leafs 18-8 in the final 20.
But Toronto was the beneficiary of some fortunate bounces. Tyler Ennis banked a goal in off Nick Seeler. Zach Hyman had the puck bounce in off his right hand while screening in front.
The heartbreaker was the winning goal, when Nazem Kadri banked a shot in off Seeler's chest with 3:20 left in regulation.
One Hyman shot into an empty net later, and the Leafs had their winning margin.
2. Eric Staal scored against the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.
The game Saturday was the 1,118th of Staal's NHL career, but it was his first time ever playing against the Leafs on his home country's flagship television program.
With millions north of the border watching, Staal scored his 10th goal of the campaign with 30 seconds left in the first period, getting the Wild back within a goal at 2-1.
Video: TOR@MIN: Staal hammers one-timer past Andersen
Despite trailing after one, Minnesota played a good period. The difference was a goal by former Wild forward Tyler Ennis, who bounced a shot off the skate of defenseman Nick Seeler in front of Devan Dubnyk. Minnesota outshot Toronto 11-8 overall in the frame.
3. The Wild finally capitalized off the rush to briefly tie the game at 2-2.
After what seemed like a half dozen 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s where Minnesota just couldn't find the finish, it did just that on a rush led by Joel Eriksson Ek.
The Swedish centerman charged up the ice 2-on-1 with Jordan Greenway midway through the second, saucering a pass to the rookie winger for a quick one timer that beat Frederik Andersen through the five hole for his fourth goal of the season.
Video: TOR@MIN: Greenway slides puck through Andersen
Video: TOR@MIN: Zucker sweeps one home to even the score