Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-2 loss against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center:
1. Apparently, Tyler Graovac is no fan of the conventional goal.
After scoring his first NHL goal from his hindquarters against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 29, Graovac scored No. 2 on Saturday, this time from his belly, wheeling out of the right corner and powering towards the front of the net. He lost control of the puck for a split second, but it bounced off an Avalanche defender and right back to him as he Bobby Orr'd the puck past Avalanche (8-9-0) goaltender Calvin Pickard at 6:34 of the second period.
"I kinda blacked out, to be honest," Graovac said. "I was able to get some really good speed in the neutral zone off the bench, great pass by Brodin and was able to come down the wall. I've been wanting to do that for awhile. I feel like I let out a lot on that shift that I've been wanting to show and do. But it somehow trickled in."
Video: Tyler Graovac Postgame vs. Colorado
With a grin and a big double-barreled fist pump, Graovac is already cellying like a pro. It was a big goal for Minnesota, one that gave the Wild a two-goal lead it eventually took into the third period.
"I was looking at the replay and I was on my back cellying again," Graovac said. "I don't know if I'm going to make that a habit, but if I do and it goes in, I'll keep going."
2. After discovering the bank is open on Thursday nights, the Wild (9-7-1) learned that it's also open extended hours on Saturday nights as well.
Like Mikael Granlund, who scored Minnesota's only goal in a 1-0 win over the Boston on Thursday by banking a shot off a Bruins defenseman, Charlie Coyle (and by extension, Jared Spurgeon) did the same thing 8:32 into the game against the Avs.
While on the power play, Spurgeon centered a puck that Coyle deflected off the skate of Avs defenseman Patrick Wiercioch and into the net for Minnesota's first goal.
Video: Charlie Coyle Postgame vs. Colorado
3. In an alternate universe, Nino Niederreiter may be a baseball player.
With the Wild leading by a goal in the second period, the Avalanche had one of its best shifts of the game. Colorado pressured, and defenseman Tyson Barrie rang a shot off the left post before all heck broke loose in the Wild crease.
With the puck slip-sliding around the blue paint, the Avalanche looked primed to tap the biscuit into an open net, until Niederreiter channeled Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and slid through the crease, sweeping the puck out in one fell swoop.
Instead of the puck rolling into the net, Niederreiter kept it out. A few minutes later, Graovac scored to give the Wild a 2-0 lead and put it in a good position heading into the final 20 minutes.
But Colorado scored three times in a span of 5:29 early in the third period to erase the deficit and secure the victory.
• The Avs and Wild combined for 41 shots on goal in the first period, establishing a new Wild record for combined shots in a single period.
• Jonas Brodin's seven shots on goal were a career high.
• The Wild was without forward Zach Parise, who missed the game because of illness. Nate Prosser dressed in his place and skated at wing.
• Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves and saw his shutout streak snapped at 156:06 on Mikko Rantanen's goal in the third period.
Video: Bruce Boudreau Postgame vs. Colorado
He said it
"How do I look? That's how frustrated I am. Probably more angry than frustrated." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau when asked how frustrated he was for Dubnyk
They said it
"We've pushed hard in some of the games, especially the Dallas game lately and we came short, but tonight I thought we kept pushing. It didn't matter what the score was: we tried to stay with our game. [Minnesota] played a great game; they had us on the ropes there for a while and gave us a lot to handle, especially below the goal line in our zone and net-front. Their power play was real good, but [Pickard] made some big saves, our guys dug in and we were able to come back and to get those goals in the third period and to get the win." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar
* Nathan MacKinnon
** Calvin Pickard
*** Charlie Coyle