Staal Scores Again as Wild Win in Vancouver

Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal (12) celebrates his goal past Vancouver Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson (31) as Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) and Canucks defensemen Troy Stecher (51) and Michael Del Zotto (4) react during the second period. Photo: Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP
Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal (12) celebrates his goal past Vancouver Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson (31) as Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) and Canucks defensemen Troy Stecher (51) and Michael Del Zotto (4) react during the second period.

March 10, 2018 12:25 AM

Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Minnesota Wild surged past the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Friday night.
Staal has 11 goals in his last nine games, giving him 37 for the season — just three behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.

Zach Parise, Matt Cullen, Marcus Foligno and Charlie Coyle, with an empty-netter, also scored for the Wild, who have won three straight and eight of their past 10. Minnesota leads Dallas by three points for third in the Central Division and trails Winnipeg by six points for second.

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Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for Minnesota.

Michael Del Zotto and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Canucks, who wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 1-2-2 record. Anders Nilsson finished with 31 saves.

The first-period scoring all happened in the first 1:42. Vancouver tallied 53 seconds in when Del Zotto's hard wrist shot from the face-off circle slipped through Dubnyk's pads, allowing the defenseman to collect his rebound and score on a wraparound.

Parise was next, gaining control of a loose puck at the side of the Vancouver net and then deftly lifting it behind Nilsson's shoulder to quiet the crowd.

After Minnesota's Cullen missed on an easy goal with Nilsson out of position, Canucks forward Sam Gagner had a goal waived off for kicking.
Nilsson robbed Cullen early in the second with a great glove save, but the 41-year-old forward finally got his goal at 2:46, when Tyler Ennis made a nice cross-ice pass to Cullen streaking through the slot.

Jokinen scored in his second straight game to make it 2-2 in the second. A shot by Erik Gudbranson rebounded right to Jokinen for the easy putback.

Mikael Granlund's wrist shot from a hard angle appeared to have bounced off Troy Stecher's skate and in to make it 3-2. Staal, who was tied up with Stecher in the crease, was credited with the goal.

In the third, Dubnyk kicked out a pad to deny Jokinen in the slot, then had some luck when a puck trickled through his pads only to hit the post before defenseman Matt Dumba cleared it.

After Coyle scored an empty-netter with 43 seconds left, Foligno banged in a rebound to put the game away.

NOTES: Defenseman Ben Hutton and forward Nikolay Goldobin were healthy scratches for Vancouver.

UP NEXT:

Wild: at Edmonton on Saturday night.

Canucks: at Arizona on Sunday night.
 

Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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