Wild climb past the Canucks to top of the Northwest Division
The win allowed the Wild to leapfrog the Canucks for the top spot in the Northwest Division.
It is only the halfway point, but the Wild want to show someone other the Canucks can win the division.
"(The Canucks), it seems like, have had a stranglehold on this division for a long time," Zach Parise said. "We want to show that we belong there too."
The Wild (13-9-2) completed is third sweep of games in consecutive nights and have faired well in the back-to-back situations this season. It has an 8-2 record in such situations this season.
"Speaking for myself, I always feel better on the second night," Parise said about the team's and his success in back-to-back situations. "I don't know if there is any secret to it or why. I think it is just coincidence right now."
Parise scored two of the Wild's goals and assisted on another. He got the Wild on the board on the game's first shot 24 seconds in off a pass from Mikko Koivu.
"That's ideal," Parise said. "You never know with back-to-backs. It's tough sometimes you come out flat. We got back pretty late last night. To get some energy in the building and the big fight early, it made it a pretty fun building."
The free agent signee later tucked the puck between Cory Schneider's pad and the goal post to give the Wild its final two-goal lead. The goal would not have happened if not for the play of rookie Charlie Coyle on that shift. He shrugged off a sandwiching pair of hits from two Canucks while maintaining the puck to keep the play alive in the offensive zone.
"It was awesome (to watch Coyle)," Parise said. "He has come a long way. He's going to be a really good player for us."
Ryan Suter continued his hot streak with another pair of assists, both coming on the final two Wild goals of the game.
The Canucks (11-7-6) got to within one early in the third period when the puck bounced off several skates before Henrik Sedin's was in the right spot in the right time to knock it into the net.
Niklas Backstrom has been no stranger to fluke goals getting past him in recent games, from bounces off stanchions to deflections off multiple skates, including a teammates.
"It doesn't matter how it goes in you have find a way to stop it," the Wild's goaltender said. "It's part of the game."
No. 3 – Ryan Suter. The Wild defenseman recorded two assists.
No. 2 – Jared Spurgeon. The Wild defenseman had a goal and an assist.
No. 1 – Zach Parise. The Wild forward scored two goals and added an assist.
Vancouver 0 1 1 – 2
Minnesota 2 1 1 – 4
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Parise 10 (Koivu, Spurgeon), :24. 2, Minnesota, Zucker 4 (Cullen, Stoner), 18:31Penalties – Burrows, Van, double minor (roughing), 10:49; Edler, Van (roughing), 10:49; Koivu, Min (roughing), 10:49; Clutterbuck, Min (roughing), 10:49; Falk, Min (roughing), 10:49; Sestito, Van, major, (fighting), 11:43; Rupp, Min, major, (fighing), 11:43; Konopka, Min (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:08; Cullen, Min (slashing), 14:01.
Second Period – 3, Minnesota, Spurgeon 3 (Suter, Parise), 4:12 (pp). 4, Vancouver, Higgins 7 (Alberts), 7:51. Penalties – Garrison, Van (tripping), :09; Raymond, Van (tripping), 2:58; Stoner, Min (high sticking), 4:40.
Third Period – 5, Vancouver, H. Sedin 6 (Garrison, Booth), 1:02. 6, Minnesota, Parise 11 (Suter, Coyle), 6:29. Penalties – Stoner, Min (high sticking), 7:46; Alberts, Van (high sticking), 12:23.
Shots on goal – Vancouver 12-7-8 27. Minnesota 11-11-10 32.
Goalies – Vancouver, Schneider (28-32). Minnesota, Backstrom (25-27). A – 18,846. Referees – Chris Lee, Paul Devorski. Linesmen – Brian Mach, Brad Kovachik.