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Postgame Hat Trick: Stars 4, Wild 1

Second-period outburst keys Dallas in win Thursday in St. Paul

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 4-1 loss against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center:

1. The Wild escaped one slow start ... but couldn't overcome a second.

Minnesota got away with a sleepy beginning to the first period, one in which it went a bulk of the frame with just two shots on goal until a bit of a push in the final minutes.

But it couldn't do it again in the second period. 

Minnesota went the first seven-plus minutes without a single shot on goal to begin the frame and Dallas scored three times in that span, turning a 0-0 game into a 3-0 one.

Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz and Joel L'Esperance scored three times in a span of just 2:22 in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second to provide Dallas with all of the offense it needed for the whole night.

With the loss, the Wild fell five points behind St. Louis and Dallas, who are tied for third place (and the top wild card in the Western Conference) with 11 games to play. Minnesota remains just one point back of the idle Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card position with 11 games remaining in the regular season.

2. Ben Bishop entered the night ready to make history.

In fact he did, in the first period, break Ed Belfour's franchise record of 219 minutes, 26 seconds of consecutive shutout hockey. 

But he wasn't able to extend it much later than that.

After Dallas made it 3-0 early in the second period, Bishop mysteriously left the ice surface. It was declared he had a lower-body injury and he was questionable to return. 

So while his shutout streak will be snapped at three games (even though he didn't give up a goal), his minutes streak will stay alive until the next time he plays. Whenever that is, Bishop will begin with 230 minutes, 53 seconds of shutout hockey behind him, a streak that currently ranks among the top-25 shutout streaks in NHL history. 

3. It didn't take Minnesota long to capitalize.

Only a couple of minutes after Bishop left, the Wild was able to get a puck past Anton Khudobin when Jason Zucker potted a rebound goal on the power play. 

Video: DAL@MIN: Zucker nets rebound for power-play goal

First, it was big for the Wild's man advantage to get on the board; the goal snapped a streak of 18 power plays in which Minnesota was unable to capitalize.

For Zucker, it was his first goal since his hat trick three games ago in Tampa and seventh tally in his past nine games overall, giving him 21 on the season.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Brad Hunt tallied an assist on the goal. It was his fifth point in a Wild uniform, four of which have come with the extra attacker.

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