Mar 10, 2018
Staal scores 37th goal to lead Wild over Canucks
Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Friday night at Rogers Arena.
The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Friday night at Rogers Arena.
Staal's up to 37 goals on the season with 11 in his last nine games. The red-hot centre is only three behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals.
Zach Parise, Matt Cullen, Marcus Foligno and Charlie Coyle, with an empty-net goal, also scored for the Wild (39-22-7), who have won three straight and eight of their past 10. Minnesota leads the Dallas Stars by three points for third in the Central Division and trail Winnipeg by six points for second.
Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for Minnesota.
Michael Del Zotto and Jussi Jokinen scored for the Canucks (25-34-9), who wrapped up a five-game home stand with a 1-2-2 record.
Anders Nilsson got the start and 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 defenceman 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, Canuck forward Sam Gagner had a goal waived off for kicking. The crowd vocally disagreed.
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 juicy Erik Gudbranson rebound came right to Jokinen for the easy put-back.
Mikael Granlund's wrist shot from a hard angle looked to have bounced off Troy Stecher's skate and in to make it 3-2. Staal, who was tied up with Stetcher in the crease, was credited.
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 defenceman Matt Dumba cleared it from danger.
After Coyle scored an empty-netter with 43 seconds left, Foligno banged in a rebound to put the game away.
Notes: Defenceman Ben Hutton and forward Nikolay Goldobin were healthy scratches for Vancouver.