Shutouts, rallies, nail-biters — the Wild used almost every method possible to keep winning at home, a reign that has lifted it into the playoff-bound side of the West Division.
But when the team finally had a chance to show off that prowess in front of its largest live audience of the season, the announced crowd of 3,000 witnessed the Wild's first loss at Xcel Energy Center in more than two months.
And like the victories that came before it, this result was dictated by the Wild.
"We just had a brain fart," Ryan Hartman said.
The Wild fell apart in the second period despite starting and finishing in control — encouraging bookends that couldn't salvage a 5-4 letdown to the Avalanche on Monday night that extended Colorado's point streak to an NHL-best 15 games (13-0-2) while nixing the Wild's franchise-record home win streak at 11.
"It's not good enough against a team like this," coach Dean Evason said. "It has to be 60 minutes. Can't be 20. Can't be 40. It has to be 60 minutes."
Colorado scored four goals in the second period before the Wild began to chip away at that deficit in the third, getting within a goal before time ran out to seal its first loss at home since Jan. 30 — which also came to Colorado.
The Wild actually dominated early, opening the scoring when Nick Bjugstad — en route to his first career Gordie Howe hat trick — sent a backhand pass to the slot for Hartman to one-time past Philipp Grubauer, who had 21 saves compared to 31 for Cam Talbot.
But the Wild didn't sustain that pace and energy.
"It was just a brain fart of not knowing and not playing how we were supposed to play," Hartman said.
Only 18 seconds into the second, Nathan MacKinnon surged up the middle on a breakaway and wired the puck glove-side on Talbot to even the score at 1.
On the very next shift, Andre Burakovsky buried a puck that popped out of Talbot's glove at 1:29 — a goal that came after a failed clearing attempt by Jordan Greenway.
Another two-goal outburst later in the second widened the Avalanche's cushion.
Brandon Saad made it 3-1 when he whacked in a loose puck in front after cross-checking Wild captain Jared Spurgeon to the ice, contact that went uncalled.
And then 2:04 later, J.T. Compher tipped in a Cale Makar point shot.
"We made a mistake and then we really got back on our heels," Evason said. "We didn't play the aggressive game, the push-the-pace, in-their-face game, and they took advantage of it in the second period."
In the third, the Wild recalibrated. Bjugstad finished off a 2-on-1 rush at 3:35 for his first multi-point effort of the season. He also has 12 of his 15 points at home. But his night ended early, after fighting Kyle Burroughs later in the period.
"It's unfortunate he couldn't get his glove off and the guy got the jump on him," Evason said. "It's a shame because he was having a real good game."
Colorado responded at 7:22 on a power play goal from captain Gabriel Landeskog.
But the Wild retaliated with its own power play goal at 9:44, a shot from the corner by Marcus Johansson that deflected in off Colorado defenseman Devon Toews' skate. Hartman earned another assist on the play, his first three-point game since Oct.5, 2017.
And then with 35 seconds to go, the Wild power play scored again — this time on a shot from Kevin Fiala with Talbot on the bench for a 6-on-4 look. This was the first time the team scored two power play goals in a game this season, finishing 2-for-6.
But the clock expired before the Wild could get any closer.
"I think the start we had was in part because of our great fans," Evason said. "We are looking forward to giving a little different result here in a couple of days."