Surging into and out of the Olympic break, the Minnesota Wild have created a significant cushion between them and their competitors for the two Western Conference wild-card playoff spots.
That's not enough. With five days before they play next, this was still a game they were worried about -- and had to win.
The Minnesota Wild were back on their home ice, with a prime opportunity to take another step toward the playoffs. Despite long stretches of dominance, they remain stuck due to a plucky performance by the noncompliant Calgary Flames.