Take away the second period and the Wild not only outscored the Avalanche but the team outplayed its rivals, too.
But the full picture – not fragments – was what dealt the Wild a 5-4 loss Monday night in front of 3,000 at Xcel Energy Center, and that's the reality the Wild focused on after having its franchise-record 11-game win streak at home come to an end.
"We have a gameplan every night against certain teams," center Ryan Hartman said. "We know what it is against these guys. We did it at the beginning of the game, to start the game, and we did in the last 10 minutes of the third period. But we didn't do it in the middle half of the game and let them push us around.
"They won most their battles and skated faster than we did and made better plays than we did."
A 1-0 lead for the Wild after one period morphed into a 2-1 deficit just 1 minute, 29 seconds into the second. By the time the period wrapped, the Wild was down 4-1 – a dramatic swing that was caused by the Wild departing from the aggressive style that sparked its early advantage.
"We sat back in the second period and looked to block and just contain," coach Dean Evason said. "You can't contain. If you get mesmerized a little bit because of some movement and you sit back, you're never going to get the puck and you give them opportunities to find lanes and shoot pucks."
Although the issues in the second period were hard to ignore, the Wild did shine in other areas.
The Wild certainly could have used a power play goal in the middle frame when it was trailing the Avalanche, but the unit did convert twice in the third period – the first time that's happened in a game this season. Overall, the unit went 2-for-6 and has nine goals over its past 14 games.
"We had some real good looks, hit some posts, one went through [goalie Philipp Grubauer]," Evason said. "We likely could have had four or five. We liked our power play."
Kevin Fiala's power play goal with 35 seconds to go was his team-leading fourth with the man advantage. He also pushed his point streak to six games, which ties Mats Zuccarello for the longest point streak on the Wild this season. Fiala has two goals and five assists in that span.
And there was undeniable chemistry among Nick Bjugstad, Ryan Hartman and Marcus Johansson.
The line combined for seven points after being formed Saturday at Vegas.
Bjugstad set the tone early on the forecheck, assisting on Hartman's goal to put the Wild ahead 1-0 in the first and then tallied his own goal by burying a 2-on-1 pass by Hartman in the third.
Later in the third, Bjugstad registered his first career Gordie Howe hat trick after fighting Kyle Burroughs. Bjugstad got only one glove off, losing the edge in the tussle, and he didn't play the rest of the game.
Johansson scored the Wild's third goal, with Hartman earning another assist on the play to finish with three points. His last three-point game came Oct.5, 2017.
"We had some opportunities, and we capitalized on them," Hartman said.