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Reworked third line benefits Wild, but not enough to hold off Hurricanes

Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune on

Published in Hockey

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Wild coach John Hynes must not be superstitious because even though the Wild have been winning, he's still making changes.

Case in point: Hynes tweaked the forward group on Tuesday, and the reworked third line factored in two goals.

But the lift from their depth players wasn't enough to buoy the Wild's momentum.

They surrendered a late goal in the second period before the Hurricanes finished off their 3-2 rally in the third at Xcel Energy Center to hand the Wild only their second regulation loss in their last 10 games.

Carolina's Stefan Noesen scored the tiebreaker with 9 minutes, 58 seconds remaining when a Jack Drury shot hit Noesen's face before sailing into the Wild net.

This goal came only 2 seconds after the Wild returned to full strength following a Marco Rossi tripping penalty, and the comeback earned the Hurricanes a season split vs. the Wild.

 

Like in their 5-2 win on Jan. 21, the Wild were outshot by Carolina early.

But their bend-don't-break strategy paid off when Connor Dewar delivered the first goal 10:10 into the first period, Dewar accepting a Declan Chisholm pass from the slot before wiring the puck by Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov (28 saves).

Dewar's first goal in 10 games was also assisted on by Ryan Hartman, who went from centering the second line during the 5-2 victory at Seattle on Saturday to playing right wing on the third unit alongside Dewar and Brandon Duhaime.

(Frederick Gaudreau took Hartman's spot between Marcus Johansson and Mats Zuccarello, while the surging top line of Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy remained intact although Eriksson Ek and Kaprizov had their eight-game point streaks expire; Kaprizov's eight-game assist streak also ended one game shy of his own franchise record.)

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