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Postgame Hat Trick: Red Wings 4, Wild 2

Detroit scores twice in the final period to pull away in regular season opener for both clubs

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-2 loss against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Thursday night:

1. The Wild got a pair of pucks past Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard in the first period, but neither one of the goals counted.

Less than three minutes into the contest, with Minnesota on a power play, there was a scramble in front of Howard and a pileup in his crease. The whistle blew, the players went to the bench for a change as as they were preparing for a faceoff, the horn sounded, signifying a call from Toronto.

Upon further review, the puck indeed crossed the goal line, but the officials ruled Marcus Foligno interfered with the goalie. 

Following a lengthy review on the original call, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau challenged the goalie interference, triggering another review. After another minute or two of more review, the call on the ice stood, and the Wild were without its timeout for the final 57 minutes of the game.

A little more than 10 minutes later, the Wild put the puck in the net again, this time on a shot from the point by Ryan Suter. 

Detroit coach Jeff Blashill saw something he didn't like; namely Mikael Granlund providing a screen in front of Howard and maybe some contact. After a challenge and another review, the goal was waved off.

"I haven't seen that happen in a long time," said Wild forward Jason Zucker. "It's unfortunate that they made those calls but that's kind of the way it went. We had to try to be a little more mentally tough and I think throughout the first period we did our job."

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said he didn't take issue with either call.

Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame at Detroit 

"They were the right calls. The first one unfortunately, when they called it no goal, there was no highlight. All it showed was the goal going in," Boudreau said. "I didn't see the Foligno portion.

"Second one is pretty close. [Granlund] hit him, but his glove was outside the crease and he was inside the crease."

2. In the second period, each team had an opportunity with an extended 5-on-3 power play. Minnesota couldn't take advantage, Detroit did, and it ended up being the difference in the game.

In the first few minutes of the period, the Wild got 1:38 of two-man advantage. It had plenty of zone time, and had a couple of quality chances, including one slid inches by the post by Mikko Koivu, but Minnesota was unable to get on the board.

Those moments typically end up being turning points, and in this case, it was.

Later in the period, back-to-back infractions on the Wild gave Detroit 1:15 of 5-on-3 power play, and it didn't take the Red Wings long to capitalize. 

Just 24 seconds into the chance it was Anthony Mantha with the first official goal in Little Caesars Arena history, and 23 seconds later, Dylan Larkin made it 2-0 when he redirected a Mike Green shot past Devan Dubnyk.

Video: Locker Room Postgame at Detroit 

"In this league special teams has to be the difference," said Wild forward Chris Stewart. "I think that was the difference tonight. I don't think we capitalized on our chances and when they got theirs they put it home. To win in this league we have to win the special teams battle and we lost it tonight." 

3. Things looked good for the Wild early in the third when Joel Eriksson Ek and Stewart scored goals less than a minute apart to tie the game at 2-2.

Video: MIN@DET: Eriksson Ek finishes Stewart's great feed

Instead of packing it in after two periods, Minnesota came out smoking. Eriksson Ek gathered in a nice pass from Stewart and ripped a shot past Howard for the team's first goal of the season at the two-minute mark.

Video: MIN@DET: Stewart sneaks past Howard for the goal

On the next shift, 48 seconds later, it was Stewart who made a pretty play, gaining control of the puck near the right post and streaking through the top of the crease, waiting out Howard and sliding it past his outstretched leg to tie the score.

Unfortunately for the Wild, it went through a lengthy dry spell after that where it struggled to even a shot on goal. Henrik Zetterberg scored from the slot less than five minutes later and Martin Frk 3:32 after that to provide the final margin.

"I think just a couple turnovers. I think when you climb back in the game like that from being 2-0 on the road, you'd like to at least get a point," Stewart said. "It just seems like, costly turnovers, and they made us pay."

Bonus take: Dubnyk made a save tonight that was among the best you'll see. 

Yes, it's early in the season, but it coud have staying power as a save of the year candidate:

Video: MIN@DET: Dubnyk lays out for spectacular glove save


Loose Pucks

• Boudreau challenged (and lost) a goaltender interference call that denied Minnesota a goal early in the first period. The Wild is now 7-for-20 all time in coach's challenges. 

• Wings defenseman Mike Green assisted on all four Detroit goals.

• Mantha finished with a goal and two assists.

• Frk also had a goal and an assist.

• Dubnyk stopped 27 of 31 shots.

• Howard finished with 37 saves as the Wild outshot the Red Wings 39-31.


He Said It

"That's the difference right there. But, you look and we did a good job generating chances on our 5-on-3. We had an open net that just couldn't go and we did a lot of good things. They shot two shots that were well wide of the net and they went in the net, so I don't think we can beat ourselves up too bad." -- Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk on the momentum shift after not scoring on the 5-on-3, then allowing two goals to Detroit


Dan's Three Stars

* Mike Green

** Anthony Mantha

*** Chris Stewart

Video: MIN Recap: Wild outscored by Red Wings, 4-2

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