Punchless Wild lose fourth straight in 4-1 setback against Tampa Bay

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Already reeling from injuries to several key contributors, the Wild got a couple scares when two of their hottest players left the rink after taking big hits in Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Xcel Energy Center.

Ryan Hartman, who has four goals in his past six games, left the game after being run into the glass between the benches by Tanner Jeannot just 54 seconds into the game. And in the second period, Marcus Johansson, who has 11 points in his past 12 games, took a puck to the mouth and was checked out by trainers.

Both players returned to finish the game, which stood as the highlight of Minnesota’s night after absorbing a 4-1 loss to the Lightning.

Defenseman Darren Raddysh gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead with his first two goals of the season, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots as Minnesota lost for the fourth time in four games.

Zach Bogosian, traded from Tampa Bay to Minnesota in November, scored for the Wild, potting a slap shot from the right circle with 4:25 remaining.

Missing its two points leaders in Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, its top defensemen in Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin, and its fiery leader in Marcus Foligno, the Wild struggled to mount any sustained forechecks.

Top forwards Matt Boldy, Marco Rossi and Johansson had none of the Wild’s 23 shots on goal.

On the other end, Marc-Andre Fleury, making his third straight start in the absence of injured Filip Gustavsson, cracked after a pair of long forechecks by Tampa Bay, then had to face a third man advantage early in the third period when Nic Petan was penalized for hooking just 48 seconds in.

Victor Hedman finished that power play with a slap shot from the high slot that just beat a screened Fleury for a 3-0 lead at 2 minutes. Brandon Hagel added an empty net goal after a turnover by Hartman in the Wild zone to make it 4-1.

Fleury, who played his 1,000th NHL game in a 3-2 loss to Winnipeg last Sunday, made 27 saves and remained stuck on 550 career wins, one shy of tying Patrick Roy for second place on the league’s career wins list.

After a tight, scoreless first period, the Lightning claimed momentum early in the second, taking the play to Minnesota’s end and stressing the Wild defense. They broke the seal when Raddysh sent a big rebound back toward the net and it trickled past Fleury for a 1-0 lead at 4:31.

Raddysh doubled the Lightning lead shortly thereafter, finishing a forecheck with a wraparound goal that beat Fleury at 7 minutes.

The Wild believed they cut the Lightning lead in half later in the second period when Brandon Duhaime appeared to shove a loose puck through a scrum and into Tampa Bay’s net, but it was immediately waved off — much to the consternation of Pat Maroon, who argued with the official until being told to go back the Wild bench.

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