ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Anton Khudobin made 38 saves in his first NHL start, and Cal Clutterbuck and Owen Nolan scored in the Minnesota Wild's 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Minnesota, which entered the night six points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, has won two straight and is 8-0-1 in its last nine home games.
Khudobin, a seventh-round pick in the 2004 draft, made his NHL debut Thursday against Edmonton after regular backup Josh Harding left with a hip injury.
On Saturday night, with Harding still nursing the injury and regular starter Niklas Backstrom out with an illness, the 23-year-old Khudobin picked up his second win against a Flyers team also fighting for its place in the playoff standings heading into the Olympic break. The 38 saves matched the most this season by a Wild goalie.
His only blemish came in the first period when Dan Carcillo scored off a rebound off Braydon Coburn's shot from the left circle to make it 1-all.
Khudobin turned away an early flurry of shots and a power play as Philadelphia dominated puck possession, outshooting Minnesota 14-3 midway through the first period.
Leighton had 28 saves starting in place of Ray Emery, who was scratched with a left hip injury.
The Wild opened the scoring at 15:37 of the first after Leighton tried to clear the puck away from the net, but instead poked it directly to Clutterbuck in the slot.
Carcillo answered 16 seconds later, though.
But Minnesota took advantage of another mistake by Leighton to regain the lead at 11:48 of the second period. Leighton failed to cover up the puck after stopping Eric Belanger's shot from the left circle. He appeared to try to leave the rebound for his defenseman when Nolan got his stick on the puck and made it 2-1.
NOTES: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said Emery would be re-evaluated Monday. ... Minnesota is 3-6-1 overall against the Flyers. ... The Wild are 14-0-1 this season when leading after two periods. Philadelphia is 1-16 when trailing after two.
(This version CORRECTS Wild 2, Flyers 1. SUBS 4th graf to correct that 38 saves matches most by a Wild goalie this season.)