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Hartman does a little bit of everything in preseason debut

Wild forward gets in a fight, scores team's only goal in overtime loss to open the exhibition schedule

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /

ST. PAUL -- When the Wild signed Ryan Hartman on July 1, then-general manager Paul Fenton extolled the veteran forward's "grizzle." 

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau believed there was some untapped offensive potential.

Tuesday night in Minnesota's preseason opener against the Dallas Stars, Hartman showed off a little bit of both.

Hartman, who was a Star himself this past summer for about 24 hours, dropped the gloves and buried Tye Felhaber with a flurry of left-hand jabs. 

After cooling his mitts for five minutes in the penalty box, Hartman exited and a couple of minutes later, scored Minnesota's only goal on a breakaway in the Wild's 2-1 overtime loss to Dallas at Xcel Energy Center.

Certainly more surprising than the goal itself was how the goal transpired. With a delayed penalty on Dallas and Minnesota killing a penalty of its own, defenseman Carson Soucy looked like he was clearing the defensive zone with a long pass into the open ice.

Video: DAL@MIN: Hartman converts feed for shorthanded goal

But waiting at the offensive blue line was Hartman, all alone and with nobody within about 50 feet. So surprised was the Fox Sports North camera operator that he didn't get Hartman on the screen until he was practically wristing the puck past Stars goaltender Landon Bow.

Hartman was a little shocked too. 

"I was surprised, too, how much time," Hartman said. "The goalie just kind of left the zone there. [Soucy] made a great pass. I don't think I've ever had that much time before. Good heads-up play by [Soucy]."

A first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, Hartman scored 19 goals with the Hawks in his first full season in the NHL in 2016-17. 

That's the kind of offensive potential the Wild believes Hartman has and the kind he believes he has in himself. 

Video: Preseason postgame vs. Dallas

"One-hundred percent. I've always been able to contribute," Hartman said. "I'm not too worried about if I show up on the scoresheet. I just try to do the things at the end of day for us to be up at the end of the game. If that's making plays, if that's laying the groundwork for another line to go out there and get a goal, that's kind of how my role is played."

Hartman laid the ground work for his own offense with his fight just a few minutes prior to the goal, one that had the Xcel Energy Center crowd buzzing. 

Moments after Felhaber hit Wild forward Gabriel Dumont well after the whistle for an apparent high stick on a teammate, Hartman went after Felhaber and connected on several quick lefts. 

After three or four direct hits, Hartman simply threw Felhaber to the ice and calmly skated to the penalty box, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Not a bad first impression.

Along with Dumont and forward Marcus Foligno, Boudreau said that line was perhaps Minnesota's most consistent of the night. 

Video: Bruce Boudreau postgame vs Dallas

"I thought they played well together," Boudreau said. "I thought that was our best line."

The game was just a continuation of the first four days of training camp, where Hartman has done everything he can to show coaches and new GM Bill Guerin exactly what he's all about and what he brings to the table. 

"It's been good. It's another training camp you come in and try to show everything you have. You have to show the hard work you put in the summer, try to hit the season full speed," Hartman said. "It's good to get that first one out of the way. Not the result at the end of the day, but I think overall it was a pretty decent game by us."


Postgame Hat Trick: Stars 2, Wild 1 (OT)

Video: DAL@MIN: Stalock makes blocker save, snags rebound

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