ST. LOUIS – The jumbotron anchoring Enterprise Center kept track of the action between the Wild and Blues while the out-of-town scoreboard determined how significant it would be.
And before the first period was over, the game was facing a downgrade to irrelevant.
A 4-0 loss to St. Louis didn't change the Wild's spot in the standings, and a win wouldn't have either.
The Avalanche made it impossible for the Wild to climb into second and snare home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs by running away early from the Kings in a 6-0 rout, an outcome that locked the Wild into third place in the West Division and a matchup with the second seed.
"We don't care where we play," coach Dean Evason said. "Doesn't matter. We're in the playoffs. We're looking forward to playing."
The Wild won't know until Thursday night whether it's going to Colorado or Vegas for Game 1.
Since the Golden Knights also won, overwhelming the Sharks 6-0, the top seed in the division won't be decided until after the Avalanche wraps up its regular season with another game against the Kings.
If Colorado wins, the Avalanche will claim the division and hand the Wild off to Vegas. But if the Avalanche loses, Colorado will finish second and take on the Wild.
"When it comes to playoffs, yeah, it's nice to have home-ice advantage," Marcus Johansson said. "But it doesn't matter that much. It's a battle, and it doesn't matter Game 7 or whatever it is. If you're home or on the road, it's still the same game."
The Wild was planning to huddle after the game Wednesday to figure out whether the team will keep the usual lineup intact for the regular-season finale Thursday against the Blues or rest players.
While the break could be valuable to some, the Wild also runs the risk of going into the playoffs on a losing streak if the team falls again to St. Louis.
Although the Wild was shut out for the fourth time this season, Evason liked many parts of the Wild's effort, including its start before the Blues pulled away on David Perron's goal and two assists and Torey Krug's goal and assist.
St. Louis backup goalie Ville Husso, however, was the best player on the ice, making 31 saves for the first shutout of his career.
Some of his strongest work came in the first period. After blocking a one-timer from Ryan Hartman off a Kirill Kaprizov pass, Husso also kept out Matt Dumba's attempt on the rebound. The Wild power play also went 0-for-3.
"Their goalie played outstanding," Dumba said.
The St. Louis players in front of Husso got better as the first progressed, rewarding him with a 2-0 lead.
Ivan Barbashev buried the rebound off a sharp-angle shot by Perron at 12 minutes, 54 seconds before Jaden Schwartz redirected in a Jordan Kyrou feed at 14:40.
In the second, Krug buried a behind-the-net pass from captain Ryan O'Reilly at 9:56 and Perron's shot from beyond the circles at 13:10 eluded Wild goalie Cam Talbot.
"The mistakes that we made were clearly assignment mistakes that allowed for wide-open opportunities," Evason said. "So, those things are hopefully easily corrected with some video and some discussion."
Talbot ended up with 23 saves and although he's given up four or more goals in four of his past six starts, he felt he had a sounder game than some of his recent showings.
"I still thought that I played fairly well," Talbot said, "and I'm confident going into Game 1."
When Game 1 is remains unclear, but the Wild is running out of time to prepare for it.
"You're trying to get your game where it needs to be," Dumba said. "It's an important part of this time of the year and just being sharp and everyone on the same page. We'll be just pressing hard to dial in some things [Thursday] night and make sure we're ready for the first round."