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

Ryan White scores in Minnesota debut; Mikael Granlund nets overtime winner

by Devin Lowe / Wild.com

Wild.com's Devin Lowe gives three takeaways from the Wild's 5-4 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Monday night:

1. Minnesota (40-14-6) bucked the bye-week blues that have plagued other clubs across the League, defeating Los Angeles 5-4 in its first game back.

Teams coming off of their bye across the League have fared poorly thus far this season, the first with a CBA-mandated break for each club. 

Not so for Minnesota, which managed to score after each Los Angeles goal to keep itself in the game. Mikael Granlund netted the game-winner just 12 seconds into the overtime frame to give the Wild the edge.

Video: LAK@MIN: Granlund cuts through zone, dekes for OT win

"If you think fast, it was great," Granlund said. "A lot of goals, and I think there was a lot of emotion in the game, too. It was a great game to play as a player, and I'm glad we got the win."

The Wild was at risk of losing consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 1 against Buffalo and Nov. 5 versus Colorado after it fell to Chicago 5-2 in its final game before the bye.

Instead, Minnesota will head to Winnipeg for the second half of a back-to-back with a win in hand. The victory is the Wild's 40th of the season, marking the seventh time in franchise history that Minnesota has reached the 40 or more wins.

Minnesota has now won nine straight after a loss of any kind for an overall record of 15-3-2 in games after a defeat.

2. Nino Niederreiter potted his team-leading 20th goal, giving Ryan White his first point in a Wild uniform.

White and Jared Spurgeon tag-teamed a hard-working play along the boards that led to Nino Niederreiter's 20th tally.

After Los Angeles (30-27-5) jumped to an early 1-0 lead off a hard shot by Nick Shore -- set up by none other than former Wild forward Marian Gaborik -- Minnesota struggled to get its feet, looking discombobulated initially as Martin Hanzal and White slipped onto the third and first lines for the first time.

Video: LAK@MIN: Niederreiter tallies with move to forehand

But midway through the opening frame, the Niederreiter-Eric Staal-White line got to work down low with White circling the net and taking the puck to the corner, where he and Niederreiter fought off two defending Kings. White chipped the puck up to a pinching Jared Spurgeon, who dished it to a net-crashing Niederreiter, who finally put it home 13 minutes into the first period.

"He makes things happen," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of White. "I watched him last week, and he made a really great play on a goal, so he showed that he can play. I thought he was fine. He was looking around. He listened to directions really well."

Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame vs. Kings

Not only did the goal give White his first point in Iron Range Red: It also secured Niederreiter's third consecutive 20-goal season. Niederreiter has already surpassed his career high of 43 points, set last season, and owns 46 so far this year.

3. White made quick work of scoring his first goal for Minnesota, too.

With the Wild down 3-2, White salvaged the middle frame with a crafty chip-in goal that beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick glove-side.

On a rush into the zone, Niederreiter took a quick shot that bounced off Quick's pads. Los Angeles defenseman Brayden McNabb tried to clear, but the puck ended up careening off the boards and onto the stick of Staal. With White camped out in Quick's crease, Staal rifled a shot that deflected off White's stick and in.

Video: LAK@MIN: White pots redirect to score in Wild debut

"[The coaches] just kind of gave us the base of what was going to happen out there and just told us to go out there and play hockey," White said. "I think that's the way to go about it on a day like this. That's what I was telling myself all day, that it's just hockey. So just go out there and play. I got lucky. I had a couple good linemates out there tonight that made things easy on me. I was just trying to do the right things and got rewarded."

White's goal with a little under seven minutes left in the second knotted the score at 3, and he received a warm (and loud) ovation from the Xcel Energy Center crowd when his tally was announced.

It was White's eighth goal of the season, and Staal's assist on the play was his 29th this year.

Tweet from @mnwild: White: "Definitely a whirlwind 24 hours." #mnwild


Loose pucks

• Granlund skated in his 300th career NHL game. His goal overtime goal was the fastest to begin an overtime period in franchise history (12 seconds).

• The Wild overcame four one-goal deficits to win for just the third time in franchise history (April 4, 2006 and Feb. 11, 2011), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Tyler Graovac earned his first career assist (52 games).

Jason Zucker scored his 19th goal late in the third frame to knot the score at 4, and Jordan Schroeder assisted on Zucker's goal after adding a tally of his own for his fifth career multi-point game.

Video: LAK@MIN: Zucker whips a loose puck past Quick

Zach Parise and Jason Pominville did not play due to mumps diagnoses.

• Making his debut with White after the two were traded by the Coyotes on Sunday, Martin Hanzal skated 16:43 and had two shots on goal and five hits.

• Attendance: 19,118
 

He said it

"I did it completely three different times, and then the fourth I just scratched out and put names in, because it was getting too late. I usually get here really early, and then it still didn't seem like I had enough time to get it all done because it seemed like every 15 minutes something new was happening." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on how he created his lines
 

They said it

"Oh, that's a really good hockey club we're playing. ... Players take a lot of pride in it. That's the way it goes. You score four goals. Usually when you give up five it's pretty much a whitewash, so give our team credit for getting a point." -- Kings head coach Darryl Sutter on giving up chances


Three stars

*Mikael Granlund

** Ryan White

*** Jared Spurgeon

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