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Postgame Hat Trick: Stars 3, Wild 0

Minnesota's season ends on a losing note Saturday in Dallas

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-0 loss against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday night:

1. Alex Stalock was sensational on Saturday.

In a game that was essentially meaningless for the Wild from a repercussions standpoint, it was anything but for Dallas, which was playing for all-important playoff positioning. 

From a shots on goal and zone time perspective, Dallas had the pedal down for most of the night, but ran into Stalock, making his second consecutive start between the posts. 

Video: MIN@DAL: Stalock slides across to deny Cogliano

After a relatively even first 10 minutes or so, Dallas opened up a 14-7 shots edge on Minnesota in the first and a 20-5 advantage in period two.

Still, at the second intermission, it was 0-0, largely because Stalock had fended off all 34 shots on goal.

Dallas finally broke through against Minnesota early in the third when the Stars whipped the puck around and got Tyler Seguin a one-timer from the top of the circles for his 32nd goal of the campaign. Seguin added another six minutes later to essentially put a bow on the night.

After also stopping 32 of 34 shots against Boston on Thursday, Stalock -- at least individually -- ended the season on a very positive note. 

2. Four players played in all 82 games for the Wild this season.

Playing in every game this season were defensemen Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin as well as forward Marcus Foligno. 

It's the sixth time Suter has played in every game, but coming off his scary, potentially career-threatening injury sustained right here in Dallas late last season, the fact that Suter was able to come back this year and play in every game is certainly a positive development.

There will be more on Suter's season on Sunday on Wild.com, so be sure to check that out.

For Brodin, Spurgeon and Foligno, each played in all 82 for the first time. 

Spurgeon finished last season basically playing on one leg, but has had the best offensive season of his career, posting 14 goals, 29 assists and 43 points -- all new career-bests. 

Brodin came close to a full slate in his second season in the NHL, playing 79 games in 2013-14, but has otherwise never played more than the 73 he played in last season. 

"Usually I've been hurt for a little bit, but it's a lot of fun when you can play all year without an injury," Brodin said Saturday morning. "I'm really happy about that."

Special recognition for Foligno, who not only played in every single regular season game, but also skated in all five preseason games. 

For someone who plays as rugged a game as Foligno, he's missed a total of seven games the past three seasons. He's also been remarkably consistent in his now 506 NHL games. Foligno has scored between 19 and 23 points in each of the past six seasons, and scored 18 points the year before that. 

Kevin Fiala also put in a full slate ... and a little bit more. Between his 64 games with Nashville and 19 with Minnesota, he actually played in 83 games, a number which was second-most in the NHL.

If you count Fiala's full season, Minnesota had five guys play in every game this season, which ties a franchise record (2015-16). If you don't, the four players is a pretty common number. The Wild has had four players play all 82 three-straight seasons.

3. The Wild will embark on its lengthiest offseason in several years.

Minnesota hasn't missed the playoffs since 2012, and was one of just three teams to have made the postseason in each of the past six seasons, joining Anaheim and Pittsburgh.

That streak will come to an end for both the Wild and Ducks, while the Penguins will move forward for a 13th consecutive season, the longest such streak in the NHL.

Minnesota's goal is to start a new streak next season. The Wild enters the summer with a lengthy checklist in order to make that happen, but armed with some newfound health for some critical players, eight draft picks in this summer's NHL Draft and the most salary cap flexibility its had in seasons, not to mention, a full summer and training camp for plenty of its new faces, making the playoffs seems like a reasonable goal.

The Wild will have locker clean out next week, we'll hear from players, coaches and management as they close the book on this season and look towards next.

Wild.com will be there to chronicle all of it. Thank you for reading this season and be sure to check back this summer for all kinds of fun features as we chart the next chapter in Wild history.

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