The Minnesota Wild were nearly perfect on special teams and Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots to shutout the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 Sunday at Nationwide Arena.

The Wild (22-14-2) scored on two of its three power play opportunities and stopped all four Blue Jacket man advantages.

Ryan Suter sent a shot off the post and into the net for his fourth goal of the season with the man advantage early in the second period.

After its only unsuccessful power play chance, the Wild struck again with the man advantage at the 15:03 mark of the middle frame. Charlie Coyle tucked a pass from Mikael Granlund past Sergei Bobrovsky for his sixth goal of the season to give the Wild the two-goal lead.

After recording his first point as a member of the Wild with an assist on Suter's goal, Jason Pominville scored his first goal off a pass from Zach Parise.

The win lifts the Wild to sixth in the Western Conference and two points behind the Vancouver Canucks for the division lead.

The Blue Jackets (16-16-7) had surged back into playoff contention after a slow start to the season, but are still four points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the No. 8 spot. With time running out on the season, the Blue Jackets need to pass four teams for the final playoff spot.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Jason Pominville. The Wild forward recorded a goal and an assist.

No. 2 – Charlie Coyle. The Wild forward scored a goal.

No. 1 – Niklas Backstrom. The Wild goaltender stopped 24 shots to record the shutout.


Minnesota…..0 2 1 – 3

Columbus…..0 0 0 – 0

First Period – None. Penalties – Konopka, Min (tripping), 18:41.

Second Period – 1, Minnesota, Suter 4 (Pominville, Spurgeon), 3:13 (pp). 2, Minnesota, Coyle 6 (Granlund, Setoguchi), 15:03 (pp). Penalties – Comeau, CBJ (hooking), 2:31; Koivu, Min (interference), 4:52; Anisimov, CBJ (tripping), 7:54; Prospal, CBJ (hooking), 13:54.

Third Period – 3, Minnesota, Pominville 11 (Parise), 18:35. Penalties – Setoguchi, Min (holding), 4:57; Stoner, Min (tripping), 7:55.

Shots on goal – Minnesota 9-11-4 24. Columbus 8-4-12 24.

Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (24-24). Columbus, Bobrovsky (21-24). Referees – Eric Furlatt, Mike Leggo. Linesmen – David Brisebois, Bryan Pancich.