Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 3-2 overtime loss against the Dallas Stars on Monday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas:
1. If Jason Pominville didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all.
After being named the "tough-luck player of the night" on Thursday in a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins, his fortunes were even worse in the third period against Dallas (8-7-5).
In the span of about three seconds of the third period, Pominville hit not one but two posts behind Stars goaltender Antti Niemi.
The chances came after Nino Niederreiter won a board battle behind the net and kicked the puck over to Erik Haula, who fed a wide-open Pominville in the slot. The veteran winger beat Niemi clean, but it hit the post, bouncing to the right. Undeterred, Pominville gathered in the puck from near the goal line and fired again, hitting the far post.
Fortunately for the Wild (9-7-2), when the puck landed in the blue paint and after a scramble in front, Haula tapped in his second goal of the season, tying the game at two apiece.
"[Pominville] was shaking his head a little bit after the two posts, but it was nice to put in. It probably would've even went in from Nino," Haula said. "It was good to get that. We got scored on earlier so it was good to get that back."
2. Minnesota's power-play goal in the second period was a thing of beauty.
The Wild's man-advantage unit has struggled, entering the night 2-for-28 away from Xcel Energy Center this season. After two fruitless opportunities earlier in the game, Dallas' Jordie Benn took a cross-checking minor behind the Dallas net, dangerously hitting Mikael Granlund into the end wall.
Granlund got a bit of retribution a minute later, however, gaining control of the puck near the left post and sending a saucer pass over the stick of a defenseman and of Stars goaltender Antti Niemi and right onto the tape of Nino Niederreiter, who calmly flipped the puck into an open net.
"It's always big that we scored a power-play goal and get ourselves confident," Niederreiter said. "We know in this league how important it is to get power-play goals to get the wins. Our PK has been doing a really good job, so we have to make sure that we pick it up on the power play."
For Wild captain Mikko Koivu, who earned the second assist, it was the 400th of his NHL career. The marker makes him the 25th active NHLer to reach that plateau.
It also snapped a five-game point drought for Niederreiter, who tied Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal for the team lead with five goals.
3. All things considered, it wasn't a bad point for the Wild.
Dallas has been a bad place for Minnesota over the years, and considering the Wild trailed twice in the game, getting at least one point out of a loss could be big later in the season.
"We did fight back twice, and that's something we haven't done a lot of," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "I thought we got better as the game went on. It's a hard-earned point in here, and the points are gonna be very valuable to come by, cause it's gonna be tight."
Neither team was sharp in the first period, with the Wild holding an 11-10 edge in shots. Dallas got on the board on a goal by Jamie Oleksiak in the second period before Niederreiter's power-play goal later in the frame.
After that, Minnesota was able to carry much of the play, even after falling behind by a goal 1:01 into the third.
"At the end of the day, we were fortunate to get a point out of this game," Niederreiter said. "We weren't playing the way we should have played, I think that we were a little sloppy and made too many mistakes. Dallas is a great team, and at the end of the day, we found a way to be in the game and go to overtime, so that's the one positive thing."
• Haula's goal was his first since Oct. 18.
• Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper, making his fourth start of the season, finished with 29 saves.
• Niemi made 27 stops to earn the win for Dallas.
• Minnesota has earned at least one point in five of its past six trips to Dallas (3-1-2).
• Attendance: 18,532
He Said It
"It's disappointing when you didn't get the point on the road when you get to overtime, but it's positive that you got a point and you can build off of it. One of these days we'll have all 20 guys playing at the top of their game at the same time." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau
They Said It
"I thought [we] played very well. I don't think we gave up a chance in the first period. I think our puck movement, our play coming through the neutral zone, was probably as good as it's been all year." -- Stars coach Lindy Ruff
Dan's Three Stars
* Jamie Benn
** Nino Niederreiter
*** Tyler Graovac