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Late meltdown spoils an otherwise sterling night for Wild in Boston

Minnesota salvages one point in tough building, but loses lead late in regulation before falling in overtime

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com

BOSTON -- For 58 minutes on Saturday night at TD Garden, the Wild played its best hockey of the season. 

No "perhaps," no "possibly" or "arguably" is needed as a qualifier there either. Minnesota went toe-to-toe with one of the NHL's very best teams, on an ice sheet that team had not lost in regulation on all season. It appeared as though the Wild would be the first to give the Boston Bruins that first dose of reality. 

Unfortunately for Minnesota, the Bruins are one of the best for a reason, and trailing by a pair of goals with two minutes remaining and their goaltender on the bench for an extra attacker, Boston scored twice late to tie the game before winning in overtime in a heartbreaking 5-4 defeat for the visitors. 

"Frustrating right now, no question," said Wild forward Eric Staal. "I thought for the most part, we played a solid game but you give a team like that opportunity like we did at the end, they can make you pay. They've got some players that can make plays and they did that."

Those players on this night were David Krejci, who scored the final two goals of regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime, Torey Krug, who scored the game-winning goal in the extra session and Patrice Bergeron, who had the first assist on all three of those goals.

Before that, the Wild did a remarkably good job of keeping those players quiet. Minnesota never trailed in the contest until Krug's overtime winner, scoring first, then building a pair of two-goal leads. 

Tweet from @mnwild: 📹 Hear from Bruce Boudreau after tonight���s game in Boston.#MINvsBOS pic.twitter.com/fZzriBmf2p

A clearly frustrated Bruce Boudreau, normally one to try and find a silver lining, was left nearly speechless.

"Right now, I'll balance that tomorrow," he said. "We blew a lead with under five minutes to go. That's the way I look at it.

"For 55 minutes, I thought we played outstanding. Even in the third period, I thought when they tried to put a push on, positionally, we were great. But sometimes coaches take it a little harder than players."

The Wild scored twice on seven power play tries and limited the Bruins to just power play chance of its one, one that came 1:07 into the game. 

Video: MIN@BOS: Zucker backhands rebound past Rask for PPG

After killing that, Minnesota earned its first power play, then another, and scored just six seconds into it when Jason Zucker banged home a rebound of a Brad Hunt shot. Zucker has now scored a goal in three-straight games.

Video: MIN@BOS: Rask deflects puck home with skate in front

Jake DeBrusk tied the game 4:14 into the second, but there was no panic from the Wild. Victor Rask scored his second of the year two minutes later to recapture the lead before Eric Staal scored on the power play to make it 3-1.

Even a goal by Brad Marchand with 3.1 seconds left in the second period didn't look like it'd deflate the Wild on this night. Just over five minutes into the third Kevin Fiala scored off the rush to again make it a two-goal game. 

Video: MIN@BOS: Fiala scores off Krug's stick in front

The Bruins would outshoot the Wild 15-7 in the third, but didn't make their push until pulling Tuukka Rask with just under three minutes to play. 

One lucky bounce put the puck on Krejci's stick at the back door, and all of the sudden, TD Garden was alive.

A penalty by Luke Kunin and a power-play one-timer by Krejci 48 seconds later would send it into a frenzy.

Krug would send the fans home happy 2:41 into overtime when he went coast-to-coast untouched, sliding the puck through Alex Stalock's five hole for the winner. 

Stalock was mostly brilliant on the night, finishing with 34 saves, including one on a 3-on-0 Bruins rush in the first period. 

Tweet from @mnwild: 📹 Hear from Stalock and Staal after tonight���s game against the Bruins. #MINvsBOS pic.twitter.com/VChGRThsAm

"Any time you lose, it's not fun," Stalock said. "Another overtime loss, which makes it harder. We gave up a lead late and that's always frustrating.

"We were in control. They got a power play, that gave them momentum, the building gets up and then from there, they were rolling out their top guys shift after shift, they got some chances and they put them in the net."

The final five minutes of hockey spoiled an otherwise great night for the Wild as it attempted to begin a three-game road trip in style. 

Instead, it was left searching for any positives it could find. 

"[We take] a point. A point against a top team in their building," Staal said. "Would have loved two obviously, but we'll take one against a top team and continue this road trip and try and get two in New York."
 

Related:

Postgame Hat Trick: Bruins 5, Wild 4 (OT)

Video: MIN Recap: Four players score in 5-4 OT loss

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