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Vancouver at Minnesota

Backstrom sets franchise record with 114th victory for Wild

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild have become strong finishers.

Antti Miettinen scored two of Minnesota's three third-period goals, and Niklas Backstrom set a franchise record for career wins in the Wild's 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

Kyle Brodziak, Mikko Koivu and Owen Nolan also scored to help Minnesota win its fourth straight game. The Wild have scored 19 goals during the streak, nine in the third periods.

  NHL fines Burrows for comments about referee

Minnesota overcame a four-goal, third-period deficit Saturday night to beat Chicago 6-5 in a shootout, and Guillaume Latendresse scored in the third to beat Pittsburgh 4-3 on Monday night.

"If we really believe in ourselves every game and every minute of every game, not just one or two periods of the game, I think we can really be a dangerous team and I think guys are really starting to realize that," Brodziak said.

Coming out of a timeout on a 4-on-3 power play in third, Marek Zidlicky passed to Koivu in the right circle. His touch pass went to Miettinen in the slot, and his one-timer beat Roberto Luongo on the stick side at 1:08 for a 3-2 lead.

After an aggressive forecheck by Eric Belanger, Nolan's wrist shot from the right dot trickled in off Luongo's glove at 7:50. Miettinen scored on a slap shot at 9:32. The goals were Minnesota's first three shots of the period.

"It's been getting into kind of the foundation of our team. That's getting pucks deep, working and getting bodies to the net," coach Todd Richards said. "Our third periods have been strong because it's about the little things."

Luongo, who stopped 14 shots, was replaced by Andrew Raycroft after the last goal. It was the third time this season Vancouver allowed three third-period goals.

"I have to make some saves," Luongo said.

Backstrom stopped 29 shots for his 114th victory with Minnesota. Manny Fernandez held the previous franchise record, winning 113 times from 2000-07.

"It's more about the two points," said Backstrom, playing his fourth season in Minnesota.

After a 5-10-0 start, the Wild has gone 19-10-3 and are now just two points out of a playoff position, the closest they've been since Oct. 9.

"It's a long road still, but I think everybody in the locker room is very confident with the way we are playing," Miettinen said.

Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows scored for Vancouver. The Canucks have lost three straight for the first time since Nov. 6-12.

Burrows, fined $2,500 for saying referee Stephane Auger issued retaliatory calls against him Monday night in a loss to Nashville, took one high-sticking penalty.

"That's absolutely no distraction at all," said coach Alain Vigneault. "That's not why we lost this game."

The Canucks, who entered the night 27th in the league with 16 penalty minutes per game, were whistled for six minor penalties, the same as Minnesota.

However, tempers flared after Minnesota took control. Vancouver's Darcy Hordichuck fought Derek Boogaard midway through the final period, Minnesota's John Scott pummeled Alexandre Bolduc in a fight 17 seconds later. Minnesota's Shane Hnidy and Vancouver's Tanner Glass also fought in the period.

Brodziak gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, redirecting a pass from Latendresse past Luongo.

Koivu beat Luongo with a high wrist shot 1:34 later for a 2-0 lead. It was the first time in 30 games since Nov. 12 that Minnesota scored the game's first two goals.

Kesler had a power-play goal late in the first for Vancouver, poking in a puck that trickled away from Backstrom, who thought he had it covered after stopping a slap shot from Mason Raymond.

Vancouver pressured Minnesota throughout the second -- holding a 14-4 shot edge -- and was rewarded when Salo's slap shot through traffic was tipped in by Burrows late in the period.

Notes

  • Miettinen's first goal was Minnesota's first in 21 power-play chances against Vancouver this season.
  • Luongo started his 18th straight game.
  • RW Cal Clutterbuck, who missed part of the morning skate because he didn't feel well, played for Minnesota. He took an elbow to the head from Pittsburgh's Sergei Gonchar on Monday.
  • The Canucks are in a stretch of playing nine of 11 games at home, before an eight-game trip going into the Olympic break. The only other road game during the stretch is Jan. 20 to Edmonton.
  • Boogaard has gone 200 games without a goal. His last goal was Jan. 7, 2006.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Niklas Backstrom passes Manny Fernandez on the Wild's all-time win list. (AP)
Niklas Backstrom passes Manny Fernandez on the Wild's all-time win list. (AP)
Scoreboard
Vancouver (27-18-2)1102
Minnesota  (24-20-3) «2035
Three Stars
A. Miettinen
MIN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
N. Backstrom
MIN


Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .935
M. Koivu
MIN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:58Kyle Brodziak (6), Tip-In. Assist: Latendresse, Schultz
03:32Mikko Koivu (13), Snap Shot. Assist: Miettinen
18:12Power Play - Ryan Kesler (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Raymond, Ehrhoff
2ND PERIOD
15:43Alexandre Burrows (20), Slap Shot. Assist: Salo, Samuelsson
3RD PERIOD
01:08Power Play - Antti Miettinen (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Koivu, Zidlicky
07:50Owen Nolan (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Belanger
09:32Antti Miettinen (11), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:58Glass, 2 min, High-Sticking
16:16Nolan, 2 min, Boarding
2ND PERIOD
01:59Samuelsson, 2 min, Hooking
02:52Johnsson, 2 min, Elbowing
07:43Boogaard, 2 min, Interference
14:26Hordichuk, 2 min, Roughing
14:26Boogaard, 2 min, Roughing
16:18Zidlicky, 2 min, High-Sticking
19:39Rypien, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
26.0Havlat, 2 min, Tripping
40.0Sedin, 2 min, Tripping
11:11Boogaard, 5 min, Fighting
11:11Hordichuk, 5 min, Fighting
11:11Hordichuk, 10 min, Misconduct
11:28Bolduc, 5 min, Fighting
11:28Scott, 5 min, Fighting
14:54Hnidy, 5 min, Fighting
14:54Glass, 5 min, Fighting
15:23Burrows, 2 min, High-Sticking
20:00Burrows, 2 min, Slashing
20:00Boogaard, 2 min, Cross-Checking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Vancouver1214531
Minnesota124622
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Roberto Luongo49:31145
Andrew Raycroft10:2830
Niklas Backstrom60:00292
Game Information
Attendance - 18356
Referees - Kevin Pollock, David Banfield
Linesmen - Mark Pare, Greg Devorski
 
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