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Wild’s downward trend continues with 4-2 loss at Columbus

November 30, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The trend of third-period meltdowns didnt continue for the Wild, but thats because it didnt have the chance to persist.

Rather than trying to improve its play with a late lead, the team spent most of the time in chase mode and ultimately failed to catch up to the Blue Jackets falling 4-2 Thursday at Nationwide Arena for its fourth loss in the last six tries.

After scoring the first goal, the Wild surrendered four straight including three in the second period to trip into a hole it couldnt climb out amid a 23-save performance by Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

Devan Dubnyk had 25 stops for the Wild in what ended up as his fourth straight winless appearance, a tough stretch in which hes posted a .847 save percentage.

The Wild looked ready to atone for that 4-3 collapse to the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center based on how it started.

Just 7 minutes, 46 seconds into the first period, the team capitalized on a Blue Jackets turnover. Center Eric Staal picked up a Bobrovsky clearing attempt and after he fed winger Mikael Granlund in the slot, Granlunds shot fooled Bobrovsky for his team-leading 24th point.

That advantage, though, didnt last long.

Columbus tied it at 13:18 when winger Markus Hannikainen put back a loose puck in front, a goal that started to shift momentum in the Blue Jackets favor.

The Wild finished the period shorthanded, as winger Jason Zucker left after blocking a Markus Nutivaara shot with his right foot.

Zucker was able to return in the second, but getting back to full strength didnt help the Wild slow down the Blue Jackets.

They started the period on the power play and used the extra attacker to move ahead, with winger Cam Atkinson converting on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle at 1:05.

The Blue Jackets finished 1-for-2, while the Wild was 0-for-1 on the power play.

A brief 3:29 later, Columbus doubled its lead on center Riley Nashs first goal of the season a deflection off a setup from defenseman Zach Werenski.

Later in the period, at 11:24, the Blue Jackets capped off their offensive outburst on a slick shot by winger Artemi Panarin, who had ample time in front of the net to turn and wire a wrist shot by Dubnyk.

Before the period expired, the Wild inched closer on winger Zach Parises wraparound with 7:54 remaining.

Not only was the goal Parises 12th, which is the most on the Wild, but it extended his season-long point streak to six games a run in which hes scored five times.

Captain Mikko Koivus assist on the play marked his 10th point in the last eight games.

But that Wild goal didnt spark more production.

Instead, Columbus was the only team to push one more puck over the goal line a tally late in the second that was immediately waved off since it was scored after Dubnyk was pushed into the net.

A mostly drama-free third period for the Blue Jackets ensued.

It was the type of vibe the Wild wanted the opportunity to implement, to show that it corrected the flaws that have popped up in the final frame when its trying to transform a lead into a win.

Debuting that progress, however, will have to come another time.

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