The Minnesota Wild came into Saturday's matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. With the Wild posting an 8-0-3 record in their past 11 games, Minnesota has gone from a team on the verge of tanking to a team in the hunt for the playoffs.
The Hurricanes had other ideas, however, as a 2-for-3 performance on the power play and a hat-trick by Sebastian Aho handed Minnesota a 6-2 loss to wrap up their three-game road trip.
The Wild started the game looking like they had every intention of extending their recent hot streak. Ryan Donato put Minnesota on the board early with his fourth goal of the season from Marcus Foligno and Jonas Brodin just 2:20 into the game to give the Wild an early advantage.
The ice quickly tilted back to the Carolina side when Lucas Wallmark tied the game with his fourth goal of the season. The Wild dug a deeper hole for themselves with a 5-on-3 penalty kill situation that led to Andrei Svechnikov scoring to put the Hurricanes ahead 2-1 going into the intermission.
In the second period, Aho made his presence felt, scoring to put Carolina ahead 3-1. Mats Zuccarello found the net from Eric Staal to cut the lead to 3-2, but the Hurricanes' power play was too strong with Aho burying his second goal of the night to put Carolina ahead 4-2 going into the third period.
The final frame didn't go much better for the Wild as Joel Edmonson blew the game open with his third goal of the season to put Carolina up 5-2.
As the Wild received a late power play, Bruce Boudreau pulled Alex Stalock as a last stand, but Aho would score a shorthanded empty-net goal to complete the hat-trick and send the Wild to their first regulation loss since Nov. 12.
The Wild fall to 14-12-4 on the season but take two out of three games on the southeastern road trip. Minnesota will return home on Tuesday night to host the Anaheim Ducks.