Dan Myers gives three takeaways (from afar) from the Wild's 4-3 shootout loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night at Scottrade Center in St. Louis:
1. With the Wild (11-7-3) needing a goal late in the game to tie, it was -- surprise, surprise -- the line of Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal and Zach Parise that came through.
For the second time in the game, Minnesota was able to generate a goal by doing a bulk of the work behind the net.
This time, it was Staal who won a puck battle and centered to Coyle in front, who beat Blues goaltender Jake Allen with 1:08 remaining in regulation to even the score at 3-3.
Video: MIN@STL: Coyle evens the score late in the 3rd
Minnesota was unable to take advantage in overtime or in the shootout, but remember this point at the end of the season once the jockeying for positioning in the Stanley Cup Playoffs really begins.
2. Leading by a goal in the second period, Jason Pominville made as good a defensive play from a forward as you'll ever see.
After an initial shot was stopped by Devan Dubnyk, the rebound kicked into the slot and to the Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin. He brought it to his forehand and appeared to have a wide open net to deposit the rebound, but at the final moment, Pominville dove and knocked the puck off Jaskin's stick into the left corner.
The play by Pominville preserved the Wild lead and kept the game within striking distance, setting up Coyle's late tying goal after the Blues (12-7-3) made their push early in the final period.
3. Pominville also assisted on Erik Haula's goal at 9:43 of the second period, a goal that kept Minnesota in the game.
Paul Stastny's tying goal had the potential to steal all of the momentum from the Wild, but the line of Haula, Pominville and Nino Niederreiter got it back just over two minutes later.
Niederreiter maintained possession along the right half wall and flipped the puck behind the net. Like Staal would do late in regulation, Pominville won a 50/50 battle against Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and fed a backhanded centering pass to Haula, who was crashing through the slot.
Allen, deep in his crease, wasn't able to corral the puck and Haula punched it by him just inside the left post for his third goal.
Video: MIN@STL: Haula buries rebound chance in tight
The Niederreiter-Haula-Pominville line was aces down the stretch for the Wild last season, and it appears to be picking up steam again as the Wild is set to head out on a 10-day road trip to Canada that begins Tuesday against Vancouver.
• Minnesota went 0-for-4 in the shootout and the Blues won it on a goal by David Perron in the fourth round.
• Dubnyk finished with 35 saves on the second half of a back-to-back.
• Allen finished with 28 saves and has yet to lose a game in regulation on home ice this season.
• The Wild has gained at least one point in five consecutive games (3-0-2).
• Attendance: 19,396
Dan's Three Stars
* Jaden Schwartz
** Charlie Coyle
*** Jason Pominville