In this miniseries against the Blues, the Wild has dominated in the first period, the second and the third — just not in the same game.
And two disjointed efforts do not add up to one victory.
They equal inconsistency, which is the theme of the week so far after the Wild fell 5-4 in overtime to St. Louis on Thursday in front of an announced 3,000 at Xcel Energy Center for its second straight loss to the Blues.
Not only is the Wild still searching for its first victory since clinching a playoff spot on Saturday, but the team also has dropped back-to-back games at home for the second time this season.
"Would you like to have 60 minutes? Sure," coach Dean Evason said. "Would they have liked to have 60 minutes [Wednesday] night? Sure. But it didn't happen that way. We didn't get the result we wanted because of a little bit of a breakdown obviously at the end. But the effort was certainly there."
St. Louis captain Ryan O'Reilly scored his second goal of the night on a breakaway with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in OT to halt a Wild comeback that looked like it had enough gas to get to the finish line.
The Wild scored three times in the third to force an extra period, with Kevin Fiala and Victor Rask teaming up twice and Fiala setting up rookie Kirill Kaprizov for the tying goal, his 23rd of the season, with 52 seconds left in regulation.
"We put them on their heels," Jordan Greenway said. "We had nothing to lose. We were down, and we figured we'd just go out and take the chances that we needed to take."
But that momentum evaporated when O'Reilly got loose, sealing the Blues' fourth consecutive victory against the Wild. This three-game set wraps up Saturday.
"It's two teams playing hard," Evason said, "and if you cut it up, it's probably pretty even."
After a strong start and flat finish headlined the 4-3 loss Wednesday, the Wild pulled a switcheroo in the rematch.
The team was outmaneuvered early, falling into a three-goal hole.
St. Louis' Sammy Blais opened the scoring at 3:14 of the first, Tyler Bozak capitalized on a shorthanded breakaway 7:34 into the second on the Wild's lone fruitless power play, and then former Wild defenseman Marco Scandella wired in a shot from the slot at 10:55. Cam Talbot finished with 16 saves, while Ville Husso had 26 on the Blues' end.
"We were awful at the start of the hockey game, and they took advantage of it," Evason said. "It was almost like it was the same game just reversed."
Joel Eriksson Ek put the rally in motion with 2:59 left in the second, eluding pressure before lifting the puck by Husso to extend his career-high point streak to seven games.
And then in the third, Evason moved Rask next to Fiala and Marcus Johansson and the chemistry was almost instantaneous.
Rask passed off to Fiala, who cut the deficit to one goal 2:21 into the third. And then after O'Reilly answered back at 6:16 for the Blues' first power-play goal in two tries, Fiala dished off to Rask for Rask's first goal in 21 games at 15:21. Fiala picked up his third point of the game when he assisted on Kaprizov's tying goal.
"They obviously drove us in the third period," Evason said of Fiala and Rask.
Again, though, an incomplete game was the lasting impression.
Rearrange the back-to-back by copying and pasting some of the periods, and the Wild probably has a pair of victories.
But the reality is two uneven performances that have left the Wild stalled in neutral in the West Division.
Had the team won one of these games it would have jumped over Colorado into second place, where home-ice advantage in the playoffs rests. Instead, the Wild stays in third.
"It was a good comeback but obviously a loss," Fiala said. "We don't like to lose, so too bad that we couldn't pull it off."