The Minnesota Wild took home-ice advantage in Game 1.
Now they will try and take command of the series on Wednesday night, and move closer to advancing in the postseason for the first time since 2015.
In a thriller that has to rank near the top of franchise moments, the Wild beat the Stars 3-2 in a playoff series opener that began Monday night and stretched into early Tuesday.
Ryan Hartman put his name into Wild postseason lore with his game-winning goal at the 12 minutes, 20 seconds mark of the second overtime. It set the mark for the longest game in Wild history, surpassing Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in 2003.
Hartman is not the only Wild player whose name will be connected with the win however:
♦ Goalie Filip Gustavsson set a franchise mark with 51 saves..
♦ Rookie defenseman Brock Faber, who joined the team less than two weeks ago, made a desperation play that likely prevented the winning goal in the second overtime.
♦ Defenseman Matt Dumba played a franchise-mark 38:31, but that isn’t the only reason why people were talking about him during and after the game.
His shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Joe Pavelski in the second game led to the Wisconsin native leaving the game with an injury and set off a social media firestorm and also one Dallas columnist calling for retaliation.
Former Wild and current Dallas defenseman Ryan Suter also became a lightening rod for Minnesota fans. Suter cross-checked Wild star Kirill Kaprizov in the back on more than one occassion during the game.
It led to Marcus Foligno confronting Suter at the end of the third period, a meeting that Suter wanted no part of and skated away from.
The opening game was a physical battle and with the drama from it, the question is how many levels will the intensity and emotions rise now.
“How do you balance the discipline with not getting pushed around if (Dallas) is going to take liberties,” Evason was asked during a media availability session on Tuesday. “Do you want, at some point, say, like, enough?”
Evason’s response was a classic one.
“We don’t get pushed around,” Evason said. “No. I’m not worried about that. Our group is very accountable in that area and we’re. Our group is very physical. If push comes to shove, we’ll stand up.”
The series began on Monday, but you could say the games start now.