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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 2, Avalanche 1

Granlund, Dumba score powerplay goals to lead Wild to win

by Kayleigh Jackson /'s Kayleigh Jackson gives three takeaways from the Wild's 2-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday night:

1. Mikael Granlund picked up two power-play points, scoring a goal and assisting on the game winner. 

In Granlund's first game of the year, the Finnish forward made a monumental impact.

At 7:48 of the first period, Granlund capitalized on the power play, wristing the puck over Jonathan Bernier's shoulder from right on the edge of the crease. Eric Staal dished him the puck from behind the net, and Granlund immediately took care of business. 

"Staalsy got the puck and made a great pass to me," Granlund said, "and I was ready in front of the net."

Video: COL@MIN: Granlund buries Staal's feed for PPG

Later, at 2:27 of the second period, Granlund got the primary assist on Matt Dumba's goal, which would hold up to become the game winner. Granlund sent a perfect pass to Dumba, allowing him to take a quick shot before Bernier could react. 

Video: COL@MIN: Dumba draws iron, doubles Wild's lead

"They weren't set plays, either of them," Granlund said, "but you know, you've got to play with your instincts usually." 

Though assistant coach John Anderson said both the Wild's goals came from "broken plays," the power-play units got the job done Saturday. "I really liked our second-to-last [power play] there, where we had Staal's line out there with Ennis and we had three or four high scoring chances. That looked like our power play starting to get going."

"A weird game, but good special team practice, I guess," Granlund joked.

2. Devan Dubnyk stopped 28 of 29 shots for a near-perfect evening.

Dubnyk was in midseason form Saturday, posting a .965 save percentage.

The only goal he allowed was out of his control, as there was little he could do from underneath Rocco Grimaldi. Ryan Murphy, in a bid to stop Grimaldi from breaking away, inadvertently sent the smaller forward bowling into Dubnyk -- although not before the puck had reached his Avalanche teammate, Andrew Agozzino.

Agozzino put the puck in the back of the net, but the incident would have no sway on Dubnyk's play the rest of the evening. 

After a few testing shots early, it was clear that Dubnyk's confidence was high. Throughout the game, he was active in his net and frequently ventured out of the crease to play the puck and help teammates. He also made a highlight-reel save from point-blank range, helping keep the Wild in the lead.

Video: COL@MIN: Dubnyk kicks out left pad to deny Mironov

"I saw him look like Duby," said Anderson. "That's a good way to start a game." 

Despite both teams' proclivity for penalties and how difficult it was for the game to find a rhythm, Dubnyk provided the ultimate defense for the Wild, which found itself on the wrong side of a 5-on-3 three different times but killed all nine penalties it faced.

Video: COL@MIN: Dubnyk makes great snag to preserve lead

"I can think of a few calls that were probably not gonna happen in the regular season," Dubnyk said, "but at the same time, that's the way it goes. We had a good opportunity to kill some penalties, and we'll take that."

3. Brennan Menell, in camp on an amateur tryout agreement, earned high praise. 

Anderson had high praise for the Woodbury native, who had just over 15 minutes of ice time. "He played very well in Traverse City, he's playing very well in training camp," Anderson said.

"Growing up here and watching these guys while growing up, it's kind of a dream come true to be out here with some of these guys," Menell said. "It's unexplainable." 

Many members of Menell's family were here to watch their son make his NHL preseason debut after following his progression from development camp to the Traverse City Prospects Tournament and finally to the biggest stage in hockey.

"I try to come in and play your game and play hard," Menell said. "I kind of came in with the mentality that I had nothing to lose, so I came out here and felt that I did really well in Traverse City.

"It's been a lot to handle, but I'm just taking it day-by-day and trying to be a sponge out there and learn everything that I can." 

Video: Locker Room Postgame vs Avalanche

Loose pucks

• There were 15 minor penalties over the course of the game, including three 5-on-3s.
• Thirteen different players were sent to the penalty box for 10 different offenses.
Chris Stewart picked up his first fighting major of the year, against Colorado's Nikita Zadorov.
• The Wild is now 3-0 in the preseason, while the Avalanche are 1-2.

He said it

"Now we're getting a good look at him… the only problem is that everybody else knows about him now." -- Wild assistant coach John Anderson on defenseman Brennan Menell, attending camp on an amateur tryout. 

Video: John Anderson Postgame vs. Avalanche

Three Stars

* Mikael Granlund

** Devan Dubnyk

*** Jason Zucker

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