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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 2, Stars 1

Two-goal second period lifts Minnesota in exhibition contest Thursday night in Dallas

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Thursday night:

1. Jordan Greenway scored a dandy of a goal to get the Wild started moments into the second period.

It came near the conclusion of a hard-working shift in the offensive end and a nice feed by Joel Eriksson Ek, who fed Greenway with a perfect set up on top of the crease for his first goal of the exhibition season. 

Video: MIN@DAL: Greenway tips pass home from in front

For Greenway, who scored 12 goals in 81 games with Minnesota last season, it was right where he's found the most success in his young career, camped out right in front of the goal. 

2. Ryan Hartman's second period shot was most definitely a pass.

A great outlet pass by defenseman Louie Belpedio sprung Hartman and Jason Zucker into the Dallas end, with Hartman carrying the puck into the offensive zone down the left-wing wall.

With Zucker crashing the goal mouth, Hartman fired a shot low and towards Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin's left pad. Khudobin had no choice but to kick the puck right onto Zucker's tape for an easy tap in goal, which doubled Minnesota's lead. 

Video: MIN@DAL: Zucker buries rebound in front

A couple of minutes later, Zucker had another grade-A chance, this time when Mats Zuccarello spotted Zucker with a step on the defense. Zuccarello sent the puck deep, banking it off the end wall and right to Zucker, who flipped it off the post.

3. The regular season is just one week away.

Minnesota's game in Dallas on Thursday was its final road contest of the exhibition season, as the Wild has just one preseason game left, Sunday in St. Paul against Winnipeg.

One week from Thursday, Minnesota will open the regular season in Nashville before heading to Colorado a week from Saturday. Two weeks from Thursday, the Wild will play at Winnipeg in its third game of the season. So while the preseason will be over, Minnesota's streak of playing Central Division foes will continue on. 

When it comes to the roster moves between now and then, Belpedio likely did the most to help his cause against the Stars.

While forwards Nico Sturm and Gerry Mayhew were healthy scratches, Belpedio had yet another strong game and assisted on Zucker's second-period goal. With Greg Pateryn back in Minnesota nursing a lower-body injury and Brad Hunt just getting back on the ice after dealing with back spasms earlier in the week, the door could be cracked for Belpedio to be on the Opening Night roster.

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