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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 3, Stars 2 (SO)

Koivu scores deciding goal in the shootout in his 1,000th NHL game as Minnesota wins Sunday at Xcel Energy Center

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-2 shootout win against the Dallas Stars at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Sunday afternoon:

1. It was a milestone day for Wild captain Mikko Koivu.

When the puck dropped on Sunday, he had officially played in his 1,000th NHL game. In doing so, he became the 55th player -- and 54th skater -- to play his first 1,000 games with the same team. He's the first player in Wild history to play in 1,000 games with the club. 

In addition to being the first and only full-time captain in team history, he's also among the franchise leaders in nearly every statistical category.

Entering the game Sunday, Koivu ranks first in gamed played, assists (496), points (699), plus/minus (plus-70), shots on goal (2,241), power-play points (249), power-play assists (189), shorthanded points (25), shorthanded assists (15), multi-point games (150), faceoffs won (10,159) and faceoffs taken (18,929).

He's tied for first in overtime goals (five).

He's second in goals (203), power-play goals (60), shorthanded goals (10) and penalty minutes (572). 

He's third in game-winning goals (33).

He added to those totals, and his memorable day, in the second period, when he fed Kevin Fiala down low for a power-play goal for point No. 700 in the NHL.

Video: DAL@MIN: Fiala redirects feed from Koivu for PPG

In reaching 700, he became just the fifth Finnish-born player to reach the milestone, and he did it with his parents and his brother, Saku, in the crowd. 

In joining the 1,000 games club, Mikko and Saku became just the sixth set of brothers to each play in 1,000 NHL contests, joining Russ and Geoff Courtnall, Derian and Kevin Hatcher, Rob and Scott Niedermayer, Daniel and Henrik Sedin and Ron and Brent Sutter.


2. It was a day for round numbers, apparently.

In addition to Koivu reaching 1,000 games, defenseman Ryan Suter skated in his 1,100th NHL game. Last season, Suter became the sixth player to reach the 1K-game plateau while wearing a Wild sweater. Koivu became the seventh on Sunday, and they could be joined by Zach Parise, who played in game No. 973.

Goaltender Alex Stalock, starting for the sixth time in the past seven games, made his 100th NHL start on Sunday. 

Just missing out on the festivities was Eric Staal, who played in game No. 1,200 on Friday against Ottawa. 


3. Oh yeah, there was a game as well.

After combining for nine goals in a 6-3 Stars win in Dallas at the end of October, the two clubs played a much more defensive-minded game on Sunday.

Fiala's power-play goal 12:43 into the second period gave the Wild a 1-0 lead, while the Stars responded with a power-play goal of their own by John Klingberg less than three minutes later.

That's the way it would go into the third period. It was there where things got exciting.

With 5:51 left in the game, Blake Comeau forced a turnover then beat Stalock with a shot that squirted through the five hole, giving Dallas its first lead of the game. 

It looked like Dallas might leave with a regulation win, but a late power play gave Minnesota life and Zach Parise took advantage with a highlight-reel, out-of-midair backhander that will be all over social media. 

Video: DAL@MIN: Parise bats puck in net off Fiala rebound

That pushed the game to overtime, and extended the Wild's points streak to nine games overall, tied for fourth longest in team history, and to nine games on home ice, the longest since a 13-game run on home ice that began in December of 2017 and lasted nearly two months.

Minnesota dominated overtime and couldn't score sending the game into the shootout for the first time this season. 

Of course, it was Koivu, the Wild's all-time leader in shootout goals, scoring the deciding goal in the fourth round of the skills competition to earn Minnesota the bonus point.

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