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Postgame Hat Trick: Wild 6, Penguins 2

Coyle scores twice, Brodin adds three points as Minnesota sweeps Pittsburgh

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 6-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center:

1. The Wild (11-7-2) couldn't have asked for a better start.

Less than a minute into the game, Charlie Coyle scored to give Minnesota a quick 1-0 lead.

The line of Coyle, Eric Staal and Zach Parise was so good against Winnipeg on Wednesday, but it wasn't rewarded until an empty-net goal by Parise in the final minute. 

They didn't have to wait long for the payoff this time, as Minnesota spent a good chunk of the first minute in the offensive zone. 

Fresh after a line change, Coyle intercepted a clearing attempt by Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin along the right half wall and centered a pass for Parise, who had gone to the slot after doing work behind the net. Parise got the initial shot behind Pens goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and it laid in the crease for Coyle to poke in for his team-leading sixth goal just 40 seconds in.

Video: PIT@MIN: Coyle nets loose puck to open scoring early

"We figured they'd have a pretty good push right away, come in hungry, and to get one right off the bat is huge," Coyle said. "It gets the guys going. It gets them in a good mood. We were feeling good about our play, and there's not a whole lot of pressure after that. You can just play hockey, do the little things, play the right way and keep going like we did."

2. Coyle put up a second goal on the Penguins (12-6-3) late in the first period, and it was a big one.

There's the old hockey adage: You never want to allow a goal in the first or last minute of a period. 

Coyle forced Fleury to do both in the first frame on Friday, giving the Wild a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes when he scored on a snap shot with 22.2 seconds remaining before intermission.

Video: PIT@MIN: Coyle scores off turnover for second of game

"I thought that was an important goal," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "Any time you score in the last minute of a period, especially to increase the lead by two, it really didn't give them the opportunity to think, 'We played bad, but we're only down one.' We had three goals on the board, and I thought that was really big going in the second period. I thought if we could get the next one, it might just crush them, because we knew they played tomorrow night against New Jersey, which is a divisional game. They might say, 'Listen we're not going to win this one. Let's win tomorrow night.'"

Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame vs Pittsburgh

Like on his first, Coyle also took advantage of a turnover by a Penguins defenseman to do his damage. This time, it was Kris Letang after dynamite forecheck pressure by Parise and Staal forced him into a poor decision. 

Whether it was a bad call or he didn't get all of the clearing attempt, Letang put the puck right on Coyle's stick in the slot, and he fired past Fleury for his seventh goal. 

For Coyle, it was his fifth career two-goal game and first since he bagged a pair on March 1 of last season against Colorado. 

Video: Charlie Coyle Postgame vs Pittsburgh

"I thought we got in the zone well when we had to dump it. I thought we forechecked really well," Parise said. "We got [on] their [defensemen] pretty quickly and were able to make some turnovers. Then when we did, we attacked the net right away, I thought, caught them a little off guard before they could get into their coverage. We had a lot of good looks again. Hockey is fun when you're consistently getting those chances."

3. The Wild scored multiple power-play goals in a game for the first time this season, finishing the afternoon with three in all.

After struggling with the man advantage through the first month of the season, Minnesota appears to be on the right track in that department. The Wild has scored a power-play goal in four straight games with six goals during that stretch. 

"We're shooting. Shooting the puck. And [assistant coach] John [Anderson] works very hard at that," Boudreau said. "I keep telling him, 'Just keep pounding it in them, pounding it in them to shoot it.' And he does, he shows it every day. And when you shoot pucks, good things happen."

Video: PIT@MIN: Brodin puts home a slapper for PPG

Nino Niederreiter scored the Wild's first power-play goal, tipping a blast from the point by Jonas Brodin that eluded Fleury over his glove.

Parise scored Minnesota's second power-play marker of the afternoon, accepting a fantastic set-up feed by Staal along the wall and pulling the puck between the legs of a defender before rifling it past Fleury glove-side. 

Parise's goal, which came at 15:12 of the second, took the wind out of the Penguins' sails; Mikael Granlund scored a beauty before the end of the period, dangling around a defenseman and sniping just over three minutes later to make it 5-1.

Video: PIT@MIN: Parise roofs a wrister while falling to ice

Niederreiter finished the barrage with a shot from the hashes just past the halfway point of the third period for his second power-play goal of the afternoon.

"I hope it's something we can improve on and keep working at," Parise said of the power play. "That's such a big part of the game for us. Again, when you can get one on the power play, it's hard to score 5-on-5, so when you can get one on the power play, it's amazing what it does for the team and the guys as individuals."

Video: Zach Parise Postgame vs Pittsburgh

Loose Pucks

• Phil Kessel's first-period goal was the 600th point of his NHL career. 

• Brodin's three-point night was the first of his career. He now has six points over his past five games and has 10 points in 19 games this season, surpassing his total (seven) from all of last season (68 games).

• Lost in the offensive shuffle: Goaltender Devan Dubnyk's 34 saves for his ninth victory.

• Minnesota tied its season high with six goals. 

• Bruce Boudreau improved to 16-5-4 in his career against the Penguins in the regular season.

• Attendance: 19,212

He Said It

"I thought as a team we were quick. We were tenacious on the forecheck and our sticks and second-efforts on pucks created a lot of chances. They are a team that, with their talent, they want to go the other way. So if we can be aggressive on their [defensemen] and quick on the forecheck, we're going to turn some pucks over and get some really good looks. We did that right from the get-go. Our line was real good offensively. We have to hopefully build on it." -- Wild forward Eric Staal

They Said It

"I don't think we were ready to play. They came out hard at us. They chipped pucks in and got it deep and established a forecheck. I think the key to our team is coming out of the zone quickly and we didn't do that in the first period. We gave them the chances, we left [Fleury] out to dry. We have to be more consistent." -- Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin

Three Stars

* Jonas Brodin

** Charlie Coyle

*** Zach Parise

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