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Wild can't recapture energy in loss to Panthers

Minnesota's eight game points streak comes to an abrupt end Friday in South Florida

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Just 252 miles separate BB&T Center and Amalie Arena in Tampa, but the gulf between actually spans much further than that.

The Lightning are one of the NHL's best teams while the Florida Panthers will likely miss out on the playoffs this season. 

Tampa Bay plays in one of the League's most electric atmospheres while the Panthers play in a half-empty arena.

The Wild found a way to put together its most impressive game plan of the season in a 3-0 win in front of a full house in Tampa on Thursday but was unable to overcome a lack of energy at a reticent BB&T Center just 24 hours later in a 6-2 loss to the Panthers.

The loss snapped Minnesota's eight-game points streak and capped a stretch of five games in seven nights, with four of those games coming away from home.

Tweet from @mnwild: Eric Fehr, Devan Dubnyk & Zach Parise dissect #mnwild's loss to the Panthers 👇

"We didn't have much jump," said Wild forward Zach Parise. "I thought they played well. I felt like they had the puck the whole night. We didn't really get much."

After stifling the League's best offensive team for 60 minutes on Thursday, Florida needed just 61 seconds to get on the board on Friday. 

Things only went downhill from there.

Minnesota surrendered three first-period goals and Florida had a fourth taken off the board because of it was ruled to be offsides. 

On the other end, the Wild was unable to take advantage of the League's second leakiest team defensively, starting a goaltender making just his second NHL appearance.

Video: MIN@FLA: Foligno cleans up rebound from the doorstep

Before the game, Boudreau wanted energy, preached urgency and effort. Unfortunately for the Wild, it couldn't put much of anything together. 

"There's not a lot of excitement in the building. You don't want to sleep through a period," said Wild forward Eric Fehr. "It just felt like we weren't ready when the puck dropped and we got behind early and we weren't able to get the shifts back to back to get the momentum back.

"I'm not sure exactly what happened. It seemed from the start of the game we didn't bring any part of the game we brought last night. It's unfortunate. This was a game we needed to win and we let it go."

Tweet from @mnwild: Bruce Boudreau's thoughts after #MINvsFLA 👇

One bright spot for the Wild was the continued solid performance of its fourth line. The group accounted for both of the Wild's goals and was the only grouping to finish the night with a plus rating.

J.T. Brown and Marcus Foligno were the goal scorers for Minnesota, with Brown's goal marking his first point since his recall from Iowa a couple of weeks ago.

Video: MIN@FLA: Brown deflects shot past Montembeault

Fehr chipped in with an assist to keep his points streak alive at four games.

But none of that was enough to keep the Wild close on this night.  

"Obviously, we didn't have the same jump that we had against Tampa and those are the things that make coaches go nuts because we needed it and we didn't show up," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "It's very frustrating as a coach to come out like that. I don't know if it was no morning skate, they just laid in the hotel room all day or as it's been this season here, when we play playoff-teams, it seems like the fear of losing makes us play great. When we play teams underneath us in the standings, we just haven't come ready to play."


Postgame Hat Trick: Panthers 6, Wild 2

Video: MIN Recap: Brown, Foligno score in loss to Panthers

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