Even before the Senators scored the equalizer, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau could sense which direction the game was headed.
Saddled with a three-goal lead, the Wild gave up a shorthanded goal in the first minute of the third period before getting tagged for two more in just 1 minute, 23 seconds later in the frame.
“I knew we were going to be on our heels,” Boudreau said.
The Wild was able to regroup, after Boudreau made a switch in net – pulling Devan Dubnyk for Alex Stalock – but it was a much more dramatic ending than it needed to be for the Wild to pocket a 6-4 win Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center.
“Momentum was not in our favor,” center Eric Staal said. “They play an interesting style of game, and I think we got lured into it a little bit and they were up the ice every rush. We kind of let them come at us, and obviously a couple seeing-eyes, a couple plays they were making, and they were able to get back in the game.”
Boudreau didn’t want to pull Dubnyk after the Senators tied it with 7:05 to go, but he thought the team needed a reset.
And the group responded accordingly, with Staal scoring just 1:07 after the Senators tied it at 4.
“I thought he was rattled a little bit,” Boudreau said of Dubnyk. “But he’s been my No.1 goalie since I got here. I was going to [leave] him in there but on the heels of the Buffalo game and on the heels of it, I thought we needed to calm down a bit.”
While the frenetic finish might rub a bit of the luster off the win, there still were plenty of positives in the effort.
Defenseman Matt Dumba is now the leading the league in goals by a defensemen after he notched his ninth and 10th tallies.
One of those came on the power play, and his four goals with the man advantage also pace the NHL among defensemen.
“I’m getting lucky a little,” said Dumba, who has five goals during a five-game point streak that is tied for the longest in his career.
Winger Mikael Granlund surpassed the 200-assist mark in his career by helping out on three goals.
“Great setups by Granny all night,” Staal said. “He was dishing it really well and when he’s feeling it like that, he’s fun to play with.”
The power play also continued its torrid run of late, converting twice in four chances.
Overall, the unit has capitalized at least once in five straight games – a streak that includes seven tallies.