The shots favored the Wild. The puck possession numbers favored the Wild. The result on the score board, however, did not favor the Wild.
Minnesota has now lost five in a row and is only 2-8 this month following a 5-4 defeat to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. Their recent slump combined with the fact Chicago is putting together plenty of positive results of late has pushed the Wild five points back of first place in the Central Division.
The Blackhawks are playing tonight, so their advantage could stretch to seven points.
This had the makings of a complete disaster for the Wild, after they fell behind by four goals before this game was even 25 minutes old.
Devan Dubnyk had given up four goals on eight shots but was kept in the net to battle through his struggles.
Minnesota suddenly sparked a comeback. The Wild turned the tide with four goals in the span of 10:24, eliminating their deficit and getting back onto even terms before the end of the second period in which they completely dominated the Jets.
The Wild’s offensive outbreak forced the Jets to make a goalie change, with Michael Hutchinson coming off the bench to replace Connor Hellebuyck and stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third period, as the furious comeback attempt fell short.
Hutchinson made a spectacular save with only seconds remaining in regulation to secure the win.
Josh Morrissey scored to give Winnipeg the lead and eventually the win.
“We’re not executing properly … it’s something we’ve got to clean up and be better. We’ve got to be better prepared for Tuesday,” said Eric Staal.
The Wild are back home for their next three games. They host the San Jose Sharks, the Pacific Division leaders, on Tuesday.