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A cold welcome: Montreal ices Minnesota in first of three-game Canada swing

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For two periods, the Wild and Canadiens played a very even contest Tuesday night from Montreal.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, a professional hockey game lasts three, and the second period was what did in the Wild, getting outscored 4-0 by the Canadiens on their way to a 6-2 loss.

Max Pacioretty picked up three of the four that found the back of Minnesota's net in the second, and for the first time this year, Josh Harding was pulled from the game.

Darcy Kuemper, who was recalled from Iowa yesterday, provided little relief, allowing goals on the first two shots he faced, putting the game out of reach.

The Star Tribune's Michael Russo summarized Kuemper's year, and the night, rather well.

Minnesota's first goal was scored by Nino Niederreiter, his fourth of the year, with assists going to Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cooke. Dany Heatley added a second with 1.3 seconds in the final period.

It's only Minnesota's second loss this month, but they fall below .500 on the road, dropping to 3-4-2.

The Wild are back to the ice in Ottawa tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., concluding their trip north of the border Saturday against Winnipeg.

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