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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 4, Panthers 2

Points streak hits 10 as Minnesota starts road trip with a win Tuesday night in South Florida

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on Tuesday night:

1. They aren't all going to be works of art.

Somehow, someway, the Wild pushed its points streak to 10 games on Tuesday night, digging out from a quick deficit and overcoming a heavy disparity on the shots chart. That 10-game streak is now tied with two others for the second-longest in the history of the organization (three games off the club record of 13). 

Florida led by a pair after 20 minutes, but the Wild clawed back in the second period on goals by Jason Zucker and Mats Zuccarello.

Video: MIN@FLA: Zucker beats Driedger on the break

Zucker must have been studying Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu during Sunday's shootout, as he cruised in on a breakaway and with a sweet forehand-backhand maneuver, slipped a shot under the crossbar past a badly beaten Panthers goalie Chris Driedger and getting the Wild on the board.

Video: MIN@FLA: Zuccarello wires home wrister for equalizer

Just 3 1/2 minutes later, Zuccarello won a pair of quick wall battles to gain control of the puck, turned towards the middle of the rink and beat Driedger with a rocket of a shot for his fifth of the season. 

Even after tying the game at 2-2, the Wild was being outshot at one point by a 29-12 margin late in the second period and was down 31-14 after 40 minutes. 

Thanks to a big effort from goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen, making his second NHL start, the Wild had a chance in the third. 

Video: MIN@FLA: Soucy goes five-hole with backhander

Given that chance, Minnesota took advantage. Defenseman Carson Soucy ... yes, Carson Soucy, pinched in from the left point, gloved down a nice Zach Parise pass and swept the puck into the net, giving the Wild its first lead of the night.

Kahkonen made it stand up, finishing with 44 saves in improving to 2-0-0 in an absolutely marvelous effort.
 

2. Minnesota was behind the eight ball early.

It started by taking a couple of first-period penalties, which put one of the League's top power-play units on the ice in succession. The Wild killed the first penalty, a hooking infraction on Mikko Koivu, but could not kill Jordan Greenway's delay of game penalty. The Panthers worked the puck to Aleksander Barkov near the left circle, who fired top shelf past Kaapo Kahkonen for a 1-0 lead. 

Less than five minutes later, it was Jonathan Huberdeau snapping a shot from the same vicinity over the same shoulder under the crossbar for a two-goal edge.

The Panthers outshot Minnesota 13-5 in the first period, but that wasn't even the most upsetting news to come from the opening 20 minutes.


3. Jared Spurgeon sustained an upper-body injury.

A few seconds before Barkov's tally, Spurgeon went down to block an apparent shot, which appeared to hit him on the palm of the right hand -- a part of the glove with next to no protection.

For the remainder of the shift, Spurgeon didn't put his right hand on his stick, and when Barkov loaded up to shoot, Spurgeon turned his right side away. 

The defenseman immediately went down the tunnel and did not return after the team declared him out for the remainder of the game at the first intermission with what was simply deemed an upper-body injury. 

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