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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 6, Canucks 3

Granlund's first career hat trick powers Minnesota over Vancouver

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Recap: MIN 6, VAN 3

Granlund records first career hat trick in 6-3 win

Mikael Granlund recorded the first hat trick of his career, scoring in every period to lead the Wild to a 6-3 win against the Canucks

  • 04:44 •'s Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 6-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Saturday night:

1. Mikael Granlund kept his point streak alive in a big way on Saturday, posting his first career hat trick and assisting on another goal for his first four-point game.

"Hat tricks really doesn't happen to me too often. I don't even remember if I've ever done that," Granlund said. "I'm even more glad that we got the win. Now we're on the right path again after last game (a 5-1 loss Wednesday at Calgary)."

Granlund, who ran his franchise-record point streak to 12 games, now has 17 points over that stretch, including five goals and 12 assists.

Video: MIN@VAN: Granlund puts home a loose puck in crease

His first goal of the night came in the dying moments of the first period when he cleaned up a loose puck in the crease, sweeping it past goaltender Ryan Miller to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead with 24.5 seconds left in the opening period. 

Video: MIN@VAN: Granlund snipes SHG for second of game

Just over four minutes into the second period, Granlund added a short-handed goal, gaining control of the puck near the right circle in the defensive zone and exploding through neutral. With defenseman Marco Scandella racing into the play to make it a 2-on-1, Granlund kept it himself, rifling a shot past Miller glove side from the top of the left circle.

The goal, his 14th of the year, established a new single-season career high in that category with more than two months still remaining in the campaign -- and one period left in the game.

Video: MIN@VAN: Granlund uses one hand to record hat trick

He finished off the hat trick near the midpoint of the final period, poking a loose puck in the crease past Miller. In doing so, he became the 12th Wild player to score three goals in a game, and his hat trick was the 22nd in team history.

Of the five skaters on the ice at the time of Granlund's third goal, the stoic Finnish winger seemed like the least happy of the group.

"That might be the first time I've seen him smile all year," said linemate Jason Zucker. "It's always fun to be a part of somebody else getting that credit and he's a guy that definitely deserves it. He's been playing fantastic.

Video: MIN@VAN: Koivu taps in Granlund's feed at side of net

Granlund's helper was also a thing of beauty; he dished a no-look pass to Mikko Koivu on Minnesota's fifth goal. With 33 assists on the year, Granlund has tied his career in that category. His 48 points are also the most of his career -- all accomplished in just 51 games.

In addition to Granlund's four-point evening, Koivu had a goal and an assist and Zucker had a pair of assists as that line was dominant right from puck drop.

"We wanted to make sure that we tried to lead by example tonight," Zucker said. "We weren't very happy with our game as a team and as a line in Calgary. We wanted to make sure that coming into tonight, we dictated a little bit more, got back to our game, played well defensively and let that carry over to the offense. We tried doing that from the first shift and we had some success."

2. After that tough loss in Calgary on Wednesday night, the Wild (34-12-5) rebounded to get a win and keep an impressive streak alive.

Minnesota has not lost consecutive games in regulation since Nov. 1 and 5, a streak that will surpass three months by the time the Wild next hits the ice Tuesday in Winnipeg. 

Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame at Vancouver

"It's important. It's the way you advance in the standings, it's the way you get points is if you don't lose two in a row," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "One of our goals is to not lose two in a row all year, and so far it's only happened once. Won the week 2-1. Pretty happy about that."

The Wild has failed to win after a loss just once during that stretch, when it followed a 5-4 loss in Vancouver (23-23-6) on Nov. 29 with a 3-2 shootout loss in Calgary on Dec. 2.

Two nights later, the Wild began its 12-game winning streak and has followed every other defeat -- shootout or otherwise -- with a victory.

Video: Locker Room Postgame at Vancouver

"That's where you want it to be. Once you start letting [losing streaks] get to two, and then three, then all of the sudden that turns into six and seven and it's hard to get out of that sometimes," Zucker said. "If you can nip it in the bud real quick and bounce back right away when you don't get down on yourselves, that's huge for us."

Minnesota improved to 23-4-2 since Dec. 2 and maintains a four-point lead (with three games in hand) on the Chicago Blackhawks heading into the finale of a four-game, nine-day trip through Canada against the Jets.

3. Mike Reilly got the Wild on the board with a wicked slapper from the left faceoff dot 13 minutes into the game.

It was Reilly's first goal -- second in his career -- and first point of the season in his 16th game. And while a first-career anything is cause for celebration, Reilly's initial NHL goal came with 37 seconds remaining in a game the Wild lost 4-2 (Feb. 13, 2016 vs. Boston).

"It felt good. I think I've been getting some chances and finally one goes in and get a good break like that," Reilly said. "Just sticking with it here and trying to go out each shift and control what I can do. Felt good for sure."

Video: MIN@VAN: Reilly tallies his first goal of the season

This time, Reilly needn't feel bad about lifting his arms skyward, as his goal gave the Wild a 1-0 lead.

Zucker wasn't on the ice when the puck went in, but his strong play to the net forced an icing in the Canucks zone, a draw that Jason Pominville later won back to Christian Folin at the point. Folin squared his right-handed shot toward the net, but turned and passed to Reilly instead, who gathered in the puck, took a stride and blasted a slapper short-side past Miller.

Reilly has looked much more confident in his recent batch of games since being recalled from Iowa on Jan. 19. Saturday, he was rewarded for it on the scoresheet.

"I feel good. There's still going to be mistakes, like the second goal, I think I should go back and watch that. But definitely, it's playing hard in the d-zone, hard in the corners and trying to knock guys off the puck a little it more. That's helping to round out my game," Reilly said. "Being a little more physical; I'm not going to knock guys down, but just cross-checks, getting sticks on pucks quick and I think it's helped me get into the o-zone and create chances. Hopefully they keep coming."

Folin, who has six points in 36 games played, has half of those over his past eight contests. Pominville has nine points, including seven helpers, over his past eight as well.

Loose Pucks

 • Alex Tuch, the Wild's first-round pick in the 2014 draft, made his NHL debut on Saturday. He earned 14 minutes, 39 seconds of ice time, registered two shots on goal and blocked two shots.

Zach Parise scored his 10th goal of the season at 9:30 of the second period to give Minnesota a 4-2 lead.

• Defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Matt Dumba each finished with a pair of assists.

• Goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves for Minnesota.

• Vancouver netminder Ryan Miller stopped 33 of 39 shots faced. 

• The Canucks honored Henrik Sedin before the game for becoming the 85th player in NHL history to record 1,000 points. 

He Said It

"He's a pretty special player. … Boy, he can make plays, he skates, he defends. I cant say enough about him." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Mikael Granlund

They Said It

"They proved why they are the top team in the West. Every breakdown we had seemed to be in the back of our net. We had too many of them, and we let them capitalize." -- Canucks forward Bo Horvat

Dan's Three Stars

* Mikael Granlund

** Matt Dumba

*** Mikko Koivu

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