Wild.com's Dan Myers gives three takeaways from the Wild's 6-0 loss against the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday afternoon:
1. The Wild's home point streak came to an end.
Minnesota hadn't lost in regulation at Xcel Energy Center since the home opener on Oct. 12, a 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Since, the Wild rattled off victories over Montreal, Edmonton and Los Angeles to round out the October schedule, overtime losses to St. Louis and Carolina to go with wins over Arizona, Colorado and Ottawa in November, before wins over Dallas, Anaheim, Edmonton (again) and Philadelphia so far in December.
There is some irony in the fact that Minnesota's home ice streak comes to an end on the day the Wild's schedule take a home-ice turn. After playing 23 of its first 36 games on the road, the Wild began a stretch of 18 of 22 on its home surface on Saturday.
2. Winnipeg's late first-period goal was a game-changer.
Who knows if Minnesota would have come back had it been 1-0 after one, but the old adage about allowing goals in the first and final minutes of periods was tested Saturday when Mark Scheifele tipped a point shot by Alex Stalock with just 5.1 seconds left in the opening frame.
The Wild appeared to escape trouble just moments earlier when goaltender Alex Stalock teamed with the left post to keep the puck out from the net, but the Jets gained control and worked it back to the point, where defenseman Luca Sbisa whipped a shot through traffic that banked in off Scheifele.
Instead of trailing by one, the Wild was down two and it set the tone for the rest of the game.
3. On the other side, Connor Hellebuyck was good, especially early.
The Wild had several chances to tie the game when it was 1-0, including one grade-A chance by Zach Parise that Hellebuyck turned away with his right pad.
Minnesota outshot the Jets 14-12 in the first and 11-9 in the second, but could not get one past Hellebuyck as the Jets built an insurmountable lead with two more goals early in the third period.
The Wild hasn't had a game like this one in quite awhile, so it'd be best served tossed in the trash. Minnesota will get one more chance to have a positive feeling into the Christmas break with another matinee affair on Monday, this time against the Calgary Flames.