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After holding three leads, Wild loses in OT

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Had the season progressed as normal, the Minnesota Wild might have cruised into the playoffs and beyond.

The team had one of the best second-half offenses in the NHL, and it was peaking at just the right time -- in those weeks before seeding is solidified and matchups get set.

But what might have happened with the Wild during those circumstances was lost when the season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

All that's clear now is what the team's potential is in a tournament-style return four-plus months later.

And it wasn't what the team previewed before the pause.

The Wild was bounced from the bubble in Edmonton Friday night, getting eliminated after a 5-4 overtime loss to the Canucks in Game 4 at Rogers Place to fade 3-1 in the best-of-five qualifying-round series.

 

Vancouver's Christopher Tanev scored on a point shot just 11 seconds into overtime, this after Canucks captain Bo Horvat was left all alone in front to bury a Tanner Pearson pass with 5:46 to go in the third to tie the game at 4.

Before then, playoff newcomer Nico Sturm broke a 3-3 tie with 52 seconds remaining in the second period after the Wild blew a two-goal lead.

Sturm became just the second player in Wild history to score his first NHL goal in the playoffs, with this just his second postseason appearance after he debuted in Game 3.

Goalie Alex Stalock totaled 26 saves, while Jacob Markstrom had 25 for the Canucks.

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