The biggest change from the Wild's earlier doldrums has been in goal with Devan Dubnyk, who set a club record by making his 21st consecutive start on Tuesday. Six weeks ago, the playoffs seemed remote, but the Dubnyk-fueled revival was so impressive that General Manager Chuck Fletcher was very aggressive before the trading deadline.

There's another vital improvement in this team … and that's the improvement seen on a nightly basis with Matt Dumba, the kid from Calgary who was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft.

The Wild looked at Dumba for 13 games last season. He was in Iowa twice this season, but now he has become a lineup fixture, and he's already the most-dynamic offensive player among the blueliners.

Jonas Brodin had a brief stay in Houston early in the 2012-13 season, then received raves as a 19-year-old rookie defenseman. Two years later, the raves are starting for the 20-year-old Dumba. Dumba was asked after Tuesday's victory when was the last time he scored twice. "Has to be back in juniors,'' Dumba said.

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