The Wild's consistency finally flickered, and it was the NHL's top team that pulled the plug.
After overturning two Wild goals and getting a fortuitous bounce on a third, the Bruins ran away 5-2 in a Saturday matinee at Xcel Energy Center in front of 19,329, ending the Wild's franchise-record point streak at 14 games.
"We're right there," Matt Dumba said. "We're right there. We made it hard on them."
This was the Wild's first regulation loss since Feb. 15, their 11-0-3 tear lasting around a month. And exiting the ice empty-handed demoted them in the standings: The Wild fell to third in the Central Division after Colorado won earlier in the day, but they can shuffle the order on Sunday when they host Washington.
"It resets us," Dumba said. "We want to bring our best tomorrow. We can forget about the streak, and now we can just get back to it."
Led by goal-and-assist efforts from Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand's three helpers and 29 saves by goaltender Linus Ullmark, Boston showcased why it's atop the NHL with 100-plus points and the only team to have already clinched a playoff berth.
But the Bruins were also the beneficiary of three key momentum swings, which included two Wild goals getting waved off.
"Those go the other way…we're in the saddle right where we want to be," Dumba said, "and that's not making excuses for us. It just simply shows they're the best in the league."
Already trailing 1-0 after Marcus Johansson finished off a slick passing sequence between linemates Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy at 9 minutes, 45 seconds of the first, the Bruins had their deficit double later in the period on a Dumba one-timer before they signaled for a coach's challenge that disallowed the goal because the Wild were offside earlier in the play.
Instead of having a 2-0 head start, the Wild eventually fell into a 2-1 hole.
Boston's Jake DeBrusk capitalized with 1:22 to go in the first before Pastrnak wired in the puck from the left circle on the power play 8:43 into the second.
The Wild appeared to answer back barely a minute later when Boldy stuffed the puck behind Ullmark after Johansson blocked a clearing attempt by the Bruins, but again Boston beckoned for video review and again the Wild were dinged for being offside; this time, Boldy preceded the puck into the offensive zone.
"To get those called back, it obviously stinks," said Boldy, whose first-period assist was his sixth point during a four-game point streak. "It's difficult to kind of get going and keep finding more chances like those ones."
Before the period ended, the Wild's string of poor puck luck continued when a David Krejci pass deflected in off Johansson's stick at 14:03.
A lengthy 5-on-3 look late in the second gave the Wild a terrific opportunity to pull closer, but they whiffed on the chance; not until their fifth and final power play at 7:17 of the third would they convert again, a one-timer from Oskar Sundqvist for his second goal in as many games that sealed an assist for Johansson.
But what coach Dean Evason described as uncharacteristic defending ultimately cost the Wild.
Bergeron crashed the slot at 12:22 for a one-timer past goaltender Filip Gustavsson (29 saves) before Trent Frederic dumped the puck into an empty net with 1:57 to go. Boston went 1-for-4 on the power play.
"We work a lot on defending the right way," Evason explained, "and that's closing, stick on puck, then physical, dislodging and getting out of our zone. All three [even-strength] goals we were passive with our checking, and consequently then it opens up the slot area."
Although the result was rare for the Wild, the output by the opposition wasn't. This was the third consecutive game they surrendered five goals.
"We counterpunched all night and just ended up getting some bad bounces that bit us," Dumba said. "… We gave up the slot a little too easy on a couple of goals. But we clean that up, they don't have anything."