Colorado tied the score late in the second period and controlled the third, sending coach Mike Yeo's team searching for answers.
Earlier in the season, when the Wild was stockpiling victories in a way few could have imagined, the team closed out games. The Wild finished treated the third period like its own personal property.
Not so much lately.
Monday, after a three-day holiday break that coach Mike Yeo hoped would be a chance for a new start, the Wild continued a story that's getting old. Colorado came back from a one-goal, second-period deficit to score the game's final three goals in a 4-2 victory at Xcel Energy Center over a Wild team that is winless in seven games.
Add to that insult an injury to defenseman Jared Spurgeon -- who was checked from behind into the boards by the Avalanche's Cody McLeod in the game's opening minutes -- and you can understand the edge with which the players and Yeo talked after it was over.
"We have to get out of it," said Cal Clutterbuck, whose second-period goal -- his 10th of the season -- gave the Wild a 2-1 lead. "We have to work twice as hard to win games as we did earlier in the year to get out of this."
It's no surprise the game was ragged given the break. And both teams were affected. But the Avalanche, which had gone winless in its previous nine road games, successfully battled through the choppy play.
The Wild? It couldn't muster offense when given significant power-play time early in the game. Late? Too many penalties prevented Minnesota from climbing back into the game after a series of turnovers had cost it both momentum and the lead.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a leg injury. He won 14 of 22 faceoffs, had an assist and was a plus-1. But that wasn't enough. Afterward, Yeo said his team might be a little fragile right now.
"We passed the test earlier, with how we would do if we were having success," Yeo said. "Would we be able to come to the rink and not let that get to our head? ... Right now the other team scores and it's like, 'Whoa.' Whereas earlier in the year, we were able to deal with it."
The two teams traded power-play goals in the first period. The Wild took a 2-1 lead at 12:00 of the second period when a Dany Heatley forecheck behind the Colorado net created a turnover. Koivu got the puck to Clutterbuck, who scored.
That lead held up until 62 seconds remained in the period, when defenseman Mike Lundin's giveaway behind the Wild net led to rookie Gabriel Landeskog's momentum-turning goal that tied the score 2-2.
In the third period, turnovers led to both Colorado goals. The Wild gave the puck away 10 times Monday. The result? The Wild became the first team since Colorado in 1999 to win seven consecutive and then go winless in seven straight.
How quickly things change.
"We lost seven in a row," Yeo said. "You know what? That's fine. It stinks, but let's go. Let's draw the line in the sand. Let's get back on the horse. That's what we have to do right now."
Silver lining? This is happening early enough for the Wild to do something about it.
"If it happened late in the year, we'd be in deep trouble," Yeo said. "So we need to learn to get through this, and we need to do it together. And when we do that it will make us stronger. We'll be better for it."
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Milwaukee||25||1st Qtr 2:55|
|New York||24||1st Qtr 3:11|
|Montreal||0||1st Prd 7:20|
|Winnipeg||1||1st Prd 9:39|
|Boston||0||1st Prd 7:56|
|Michigan State||54||2nd Half 13:06|
|Boston Univ||18||1st Half 9:01|
|Fla Atlantic||19||1st Half 10:21|
|Youngstown St||4||1st Half 11:30|
|East Tenn St||12||1st Half 8:08|
|Saint Louis||15||1st Half 7:55|
|USC Upstate||9||1st Half 14:01|
|High Point||20||1st Half 7:00|
|Central Conn St||18||1st Half 4:45|
|Western Ky||14||1st Half 11:00|
|Dayton||24||1st Half 7:33|
|Chattanooga||20||1st Half 7:45|
|Wofford||10||1st Half 9:38|
|Maryland||12||1st Half 7:37|
|FIU||11||1st Half 9:46|
|Fair-Dickinson||14||1st Half 9:50|
|Mount St Marys||18||1st Half 9:40|
|Bryant||24||1st Half 6:42|
|Northern Ky||13||1st Half 7:54|
|Coll of Charleston||9||1st Half 9:45|
|Western Carolina||26||1st Half 8:40|
|Sacred Heart||18||1st Half 8:46|
|Lipscomb||17||1st Half 7:40|
|Fla Gulf Coast||27|
|Kennesaw St||11||1st Half 8:20|
|Appalachian St||6:30 PM|
|Holy Cross||6:30 PM|
|Eastern Ill||6:30 PM|
|Jacksonville St||7:00 PM|
|SIU Edwardsville||7:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Tenn Tech||7:00 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||7:00 PM|
|Weber State||7:00 PM|
|North Dakota St|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:30 PM|
|Eastern Ky||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Chicago State||8:05 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|Old Dominion||58||2nd Half 6:18|
|Southern Miss||59||2nd Half 6:22|
|Georgia State||21||2nd Half 10:29|
|Ark-Little Rock||50||2nd Half 8:07|
|ULM||14||2nd Half 20:00|
|Pittsburgh||20||2nd Half 20:00|
|(6) Tennessee||18||1st Half 7:17|
|(24) Oklahoma||22||1st Half 7:58|
|Nebraska Omaha||5||1st Half 13:03|
|UC-Riverside||18||1st Half 8:52|
|Army||21||1st Half 7:34|
|New Orleans||9||1st Half 6:14|
|Charlotte||23||1st Half 8:00|
|Towson||18||1st Half 3:48|
|Hofstra||20||1st Half 9:03|
|New Hampshire||16||1st Half 8:46|
|Albany||23||1st Half 7:19|
|Hartford||21||1st Half 6:52|
|UNC-Wilmington||26||1st Half 7:47|
|William & Mary||15|
|Clemson||9||1st Half 10:13|
|Alabama||13||1st Half 7:54|
|(1) South Carolina||27|
|(23) Syracuse||17||1st Half 7:51|
|Missouri||23||1st Half 8:41|
|Iona||23||1st Half 5:42|
|Manhattan||13||1st Half 6:44|
|NC State||25||1st Half 5:39|
|(4) Notre Dame||13||1st Half 11:32|
|(22) Rutgers||15||1st Half 7:54|
|(5) Maryland||23||1st Half 9:15|
|Milwaukee||14||1st Half 6:57|
|Wright State||35||1st Half 8:03|
|Jacksonville||9||1st Half 9:11|
|North Florida||8||1st Half 6:59|
|Stetson||13||1st Half 10:54|
|Loyola-Maryland||11||1st Half 4:53|
|Sam Houston St|
|Fla Gulf Coast||6:30 PM|
|(18) Miss State|
|Abilene Christian||7:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||7:00 PM|
|McNeese State||7:00 PM|
|Oral Roberts||7:00 PM|
|South Dakota St|
|Louisiana Tech||7:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Grand Canyon||7:00 PM|
|(20) Iowa||7:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U||7:05 PM|
|Green Bay||7:05 PM|
|Ole Miss||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Ohio State||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|
Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?