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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 1, Jets 0

Spurgeon's second-period goal the only offense as Minnesota stays undefeated in the preseason

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 1-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday:

1. In his quest to become the Wild's backup goaltender, Alex Stalock stopped all 21 shots he faced.

On Monday in Winnipeg, Niklas Svedberg stopped 22 of 24 shots he faced through 40 minutes while Steve Michalek made 19 saves in the third period and overtime before stopping each of the three shots he faced in the shootout as Minnesota won 3-2.

Needing an impressive effort of his own to keep pace, Stalock did just that. While the defensive effort in front of him was rock solid, Stalock was tested a couple times, including on a couple of deflected shots. 

Video: WPG@MIN: Stalock shuts the door on Lipon

Each time, Stalock was up to the challenge.

"First game, every year going into camp, you have time to sit at home and wonder, 'Well, how it's going to go tonight?' It's the first real action you really see after all the summer hockey and you give up plenty of goals in the summer," Stalock said. "Obviously, coming into tonight, I just wanted to work and be consistent, be simple, simple is a big thing and I felt like I did that."

Video: WPG@MIN: Stalock shuts the door on Copp

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said before the game he wasn't sure if he was going to give Stalock a full game or whether he'd cede the final period to Svedberg, but with a goose egg on the board, Stalock got the call.

"You know, what I liked more about him today was the pucks that were dumped in he was really good at getting out and controlling them, I thought," Boudreau said. "It scares you a little bit but he ends up making the right play most of the time." 

2. Marcus Foligno came to Minnesota with a reputation as a physical player. It was on display on Thursday.

Foligno was a force in Winnipeg on Monday, and playing against the physical Jets for the second time in three days, he got after it again in St. Paul.

Foligno was credited with a team-leading eight hits, a category he finished fifth in the NHL in last season as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

"That's what we expect from him. That's his game, and that's how he gets into it. It's nice to have a guy like that, not afraid to be physical. It takes a toll on them," said linemate Charlie Coyle. "When they know he's coming, they're coughing up pucks, they're making bad decisions because you know they can hear his footsteps. It's nice to play with a guy like that. We'll see a lot of turnovers and stuff we can capitalize on." 

Coyle said the bench tends to stand a little taller with Foligno on the ice and the boards rattling.

"A hit, great play to break up a rush chance or whatever it is, it definitely gets the other guys going on the bench, brings the energy and gives us momentum," Coyle said. "That's what he brings, that's why he's valuable on a team."

3. After the game, Boudreau indicated Zach Parise may practice with the team as soon as Friday.

Parise, who has skated on his own but has not practiced with the team for the entirety of training camp, has been dealing with a sore back. 

Boudreau has downplayed serious concerns, however, and his confidence appears to be genuine. 

Parise scored 19 goals in an injury and illness-plagued 2016-17 season, but has scored at least 25 goals in every other full season he's played since signing with the Wild in 2012.


Loose pucks

Jared Spurgeon provided the game's only offense, scoring his first goal of the preseason at 9:20 of the second period.

Video: WPG@MIN: Spurgeon roofs a shot past Hellebuyck

• Coyle and Nino Niederreiter each tallied assists on Spurgeon's goal.

• Daniel Winnik and Coyle each led the Wild with four shots on goal.

• Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck finished with 22 saves.

Tyler Ennis left the game briefly late in the second period after taking a puck to the face. He returned early in the third period.

• Minnesota was tagged with just three penalties on Thursday after committing 11 in Winnipeg on Monday.

• The Jets went 0-for-3 with the man advantage after scoring twice with the extra attacker earlier in the week.


He said it

"We changed a bunch of stuff, so we're still getting used to that. You could tell it was a little sloppy out there just getting used to chemistry and playing with certain people again instead of shinny. I think every game will get better. We'll get back to work tomorrow and have a good practice and work on the things we think we can do better." -- Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon on Minnesota's defensive effort through two games


They said it

"I applaud our group. I think there was a lot of work ethic out there, a lot of guys playing really hard in the dirty, tough areas. I give Connor Hellebuyck a ton of credit; he made a bunch of good, tough saves when he had to." -- Jets forward Matt Hendricks 


Three Stars

* Jared Spurgeon 

** Alex Stalock

*** Charlie Coyle

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