The NHL-employed off-ice officials who man Wild games needed to hit the showers after one period Saturday night.
One of the league's strictest crews when it comes to accounting for shots, they registered 41 combined shots in the first 20 minutes of the Wild-Colorado Avalanche derby.
But of the Wild's 21, only Charlie Coyle's crossed the goal line, and that perfectly exemplified how torturous it has been lately for the Wild to score.
Tyler Graovac did add a highlight-reel goal in the second period to give the Wild a two-goal cushion. But just when it looked like Devan Dubnyk would cruise to a second consecutive shutout, the Avalanche stormed back in the third to punch the Wild in the gut, 3-2.
The defeat, Dubnyk said, was "as frustrating as it gets."
"We stopped playing. I don't know what happened. That's not like us," the goalie said. "I don't know if we thought it was going to be an easy third with the way the game was going, but we had a pretty good game going, and that's a waste of a game."
Bruce Boudreau was left simmering.
"I need more from a lot of guys," the coach said. "When was the last time any of us had a multi-point game? You can't win every night in this league 1-nothing, 2-1."
Mikko Rantanen, Carl Soderberg and Nathan MacKinnon scored 5 minutes, 29 seconds apart to absolutely stun the Wild and the 19,238 fans at Xcel Energy Center. It was a gutsy win by goalie Calvin Pickard, who made 41 saves, and the Avs, who were without captain Gabriel Landeskog and No. 1 center Matt Duchene.
The Wild had yielded a league-low 29 goals with an NHL-best .941 save percentage and had a goalie running hot, but it looked like it had packed up for the night in the second intermission, and Colorado took advantage.
"We let them walk right back into the game. It's as simple as that," Coyle said.
Rantanen got the comeback started with a slam dunk after a defensive breakdown. That goal stopped Dubnyk's shutout streak at 156:06.
After a Christian Folin penalty, Soderberg tied the score when his attempted cross-ice feed hit Suter's skate. Dubnyk robbed Soderberg's initial shot, but he scored on the rebound.
"We bent and we just broke, and we couldn't stop it," said defenseman Matt Dumba.
With the crowd restless, the Wild put forth a couple of dreadful shifts in a row until MacKinnon, the speedy sniper who torched the Wild at home in the 2014 playoffs, skated one-vs.-three, flew by a stick-swinging Jason Pominville and fired the go-ahead goal through Mike Reilly's legs.
"All three of those goals, if we had a TV here, I could show you exactly where we did things that we're not supposed to be doing," Boudreau said.
Playing without ill Zach Parise, the Wild closed its homestand with a season-high 43 shots but a second loss in three games. The Wild scored three times on the homestand and, in losing five of its last eight, has scored two or fewer goals seven times.
"The way we've been playing, we get up two goals and that's our game," Suter said. "That is how we have to win right now until we can start putting the puck into the back of the net. To crack there was pretty disappointing."
As angry as Boudreau was about the third period, he called the first two periods "ridiculous" the way the Wild scrambled around its own zone.
In that combined 41-shot, 60-shot-attempt first period, the Wild gave up eight shots during an ugly 1:21 stretch.
"I kept saying to myself, 'How long can Duby do this?'" Boudreau said.
The Wild now heads to Dallas, where it usually struggles.
"Everyone is disappointed. How do we react from this?" Suter said. "We can go one way and spiral downward or take off going in the direction we want to go. It's up to us."