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LAS VEGAS – The culmination of the first-round series between the Wild and Golden Knights encapsulated what the battle between these two teams was built on: who could rise above the physical grind and score.

And while the Wild did that in spurts to rally from a 3-1 deficit and extend the action to a decisive finale, the team ultimately didn’t have the manpower to persevere one more time, falling 6-2 to Vegas in front of 12,156 at T-Mobile Arena to get eliminated from the playoffs.

This is the franchise’s first Game 7 loss after going 3-0, and the Wild has now failed to make it past its first round of postseason games for a fifth straight time.

As for the Golden Knights, they avoided a 3-1 meltdown and move on to face the Avalanche in Round 2. Their coach Pete DeBoer is now 6-0 all-time in Game 7s.

Vegas’ Mattias Janmark scored a hat trick, but Max Pacioretty was the sparkplug. The Golden Knights’ leading goal scorer in the regular season made his playoffs debut after not playing since May 1 due to an upper-body injury and delivered the game-winning goal during a three-goal second period for his team.

The climb was too steep for the Wild, which was shorthanded for almost the entire game.

Vegas’ Nicolas Roy crunched Jonas Brodin‘s left side into the boards early in the first period and Brodin left the bench hunched over. He did not return, leaving the Wild with only five defensemen for most of the game.

The Wild also had close calls on injuries with Ryan Suter and Joel Eriksson Ek, but both continued to play.

Not being at full strength was especially tough for a Wild team that was chasing the Golden Knights most of the night.

Vegas was assertive early and had the Wild scrambling; by 5:09, the Golden Knights opened the scoring when Janmark slid the puck by goalie Cam Talbot’s right pad.

Zach Parise tied the game at 16:49 with one of the slickest goals of the playoffs, swiping a deflected puck through his legs while his back faced the net. Suter had the initial point shot that was clipped by Eriksson Ek before reaching Parise, who wrapped the series with two goals and an assist after not playing until Game 4.

Parise’s goal was part of a steady finish to the period by the Wild; before he scored, Parise had a 2-on-0 with Kevin Fiala that goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped.

But any momentum the Wild might have established didn’t make it to the start of the second period.

Like the first, the Golden Knights pounced on the Wild early and regained the lead at 2:05 on a point shot by Nicolas Hague.

After Suter was pushed from behind by Ryan Reaves to crash face-first into the post, the Wild received a power play and took advantage, a one-timer from rookie Kirill Kaprizov off a Mats Zuccarello pass at 4:35 to even the score at 2. Kaprizov became the first rookie in Wild history to record a point in a Game 7.

But then Pacioretty stole the spotlight.

He was left all alone in the slot to bury a one-timer at 7:44, and then Zach Whitecloud capitalized on a rising shot just under the crossbar at 13:38. Janmark tallied his second of the game at 12:36 of the third before completing the hat trick into an empty net at 16:53.

Talbot had 29 saves, and Fleury made 19 stops. The Wild power play went 1-for-2, while Vegas was 0-for-1.

Although Suter continued to play after he was dumped into the net, Eriksson Ek left the bench in the second after he went down awkwardly, getting clipped by a falling Alex Pietrangelo. He eventually returned but appeared to be laboring.

The Wild trailed in the third period during all three of its previous Game 7 wins, but there wasn’t a comeback this year, not when the depth that helped carry the Wild to this point was flickering.