A four-day holiday break apparently didn't solve the Minnesota Wild's goal-scoring problem as they were dumped on the road 5-2 by the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Patrick Kane scored three goals for his first hat trick since March 2017 and Brendan Saad netted the other pair of Chicago goals. For Minnesota, Zach Parise's first-period goal tied the score at 1-1, but that was all they got until Eric Staal scored with 51 seconds left in the game.
It's the fifth straight loss for the Wild, who have scored just five goals during the losing streak. This loss was especially frustrating because Minnesota put up a season-high 48 shots compared to Chicago's 20.
While Collin Delia was a brick wall for the Blackhawks, Devan Dubnyk had a rough outing for the Wild. The veteran goalie allowed three goals on 10 shots and was replaced by Alex Stalock in the second period. Stalock stopped eight of nine shots.
"We have a lot of grade-A chances and we're not putting them in and we're not getting the save when we need to get the save," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "It's not a good combination."
Dubynyk's 2.66 goals-against average ranks 19th in the NHL and is the highest its been since the Wild traded for him in 2015.
Minnesota is 3-9-1 since Nov. 24. That's just 7 points earned in more than a month, which is far and away the worst in the NHL over that stretch. The next worst team since Nov. 24 is Carolina, which has 10 points in that stretch.
What's worse is that Minnesota is falling seriously far back in the Central Division. Look at the points gained by division teams since Nov. 24.
- Winnipeg - 24
- Colorado - 16
- Dallas - 15
- St. Louis - 15
- Nashville - 13
- Chicago - 13
- Minnesota - 7
It'd be a lot worse if Nashville and Colorado weren't riding their own losing streaks.
The Wild now have to play five of the next six games on the road starting Friday night against division-leading Winnipeg.