Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Tuesday night:
1. Eric Staal entered the game with two points in eight games. He did more than that in the first period Tuesday night.
If you want to get specific, Staal posted more offense in the span of 5:13 of the first period than he had in the previous 491:32 to start the season.
Still in search of his first goal, it was time for Staal's '0' to go at the 11:33 mark of the game when he deposited a rebound of a Jordan Greenway wraparound under goaltender Mike Smith, giving the Wild a 1-0 lead.
Video: EDM@MIN: Staal backhands in his second goal
He didn't have to wait long for No. 2 ... just 75 seconds to be exact, when he backhanded a rebound of a Carson Soucy point shot between Smith and the left post for a 2-zip lead.
Just under four minutes later, with the Wild on its first power play, Staal chipped the puck back to Matt Dumba who fed Brad Hunt for a wicked one-timer that looked just like the goal on Sunday against Montreal.
Video: EDM@MIN: Hunt blisters one-timer from the point
Not a bad 20 minutes for the veteran centerman.
2. Mats Zuccarello was back in the lineup and back on the scoresheet.
The Wild's prized offseason acquisition was held pointless in his first four games with Minnesota, then missed the past four games with a lower-body injury.
After practicing with the team on Monday and taking part in morning skate on Tuesday, Zuccarello was deemed healthy enough to take part in the festivities. And take part he did, earning the assist on Staal's first goal of the night.
Video: EDM@MIN: Staal backhands puck home in front
Between both Staal and Zuccarello getting off the schneid on Tuesday, the Wild has to be hoping its two veteran cornerstones can help the team go on a nice run to finish out October and dig the team out of its early season hole.
3. Alex Stalock entered the game at a difficult juncture.
It certainly came amidst challenging circumstances.
One tick shy of the two-minute mark of the second period, Ryan Donato and Brandon Manning went sliding into goaltender Devan Dubnyk's crease. Dubnyk tried to leap over the two, but was unable to stick the landing, falling hard on his back side.
Dubnyk laid in pain on the ice for several moments before being helped to his feet. He tried to gather himself with some basic moves, but left the game with the assistance of Wild athletic trainer John Worley.
There was no update to Dubnyk's status provided during the game. He stopped each of the first nine shots he faced before departing.
Donato was charged with interference on the play, which meant Stalock entered the game in the crosshairs of Edmonton's League-leading power play.
Bonus takeaway: It was milestone night at Xcel Energy Center for a pair of Wild mainstays.
With the drop of the puck on Tuesday, defenseman Jared Spurgeon officially played in his 600th NHL game. In doing so (against his hometown team, no less), Spurgeon became the second defenseman after Nick Schultz to play in 600 games with the Wild, and third overall (Mikko Koivu).
Spurgeon of course, seems destined to break a bunch of games played records with the Wild after he signed a new seven-year contract with the club last month, a deal which doesn't even kick in until next season.
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk also made his 300th start with the Wild, joining Niklas Backstrom as the only other goaltender in franchise history to start 300 games with Minnesota (391).
Like Spurgeon, Dubnyk's milestone game came against a team in which he has a deep connection: Edmonton drafted Dubnyk in the first round of the 2004 NHL Draft and it's where he played the first 5 1/2 years of his NHL career.