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Kobasew scores twice and Minnesota defeats Calgary

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Chuck Kobasew scored twice and the Minnesota Wild gave a boost to dim playoff hopes with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Kobasew, who has four goals in his past four games, scored a pair of second-period goals to lead Minnesota to its fifth win in six games against Calgary this season and its third straight home victory.

Josh Harding stopped 29 shots to win his ninth game of the season and move the Wild within seven points of the eighth-place Detroit Red Wings.

Calgary missed an opportunity to pull even with Detroit in the Western Conference standings at 83 points. The Flames also lost Daymond Langkow, their third-leading scorer, when he was hit in the back of the neck with a puck in the second period.

Langkow was checked from behind by Minnesota defenseman Greg Zanon and hit Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky as he lost his balance and fell forward. With Langkow's head down as he fell, Calgary defenseman Ian White fired toward the net and hit his teammate.

Langkow was not moving as he was removed from the ice on a stretcher. The 13-year veteran remained on the ice for nearly 10 minutes before leaving. The team said Langkow has movement in all his extremities and is undergoing X-rays and more tests.

Flames goaltender Vesa Toskala allowed three goals on 12 shots before he was replaced by Miikka Kiprusoff at 3:05 of the second period. Kiprusoff stopped eight of the nine shots he faced.

Steve Staios gave Calgary a first-period lead with a power-play goal — the veteran's first goal since Jan. 16, 2009, at Colorado as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

The Wild tied it 34 seconds later at 13:17 when Andrew Brunette sneaked the puck through Toskala's pads from the goal line, then took the lead with 42 seconds remaining in the first period on Guillaume Latendresse's team-leading 26th goal of the season. Latendresse's power-play tally snapped an 0-for-9 power-play skid spanning Minnesota's previous three games.

The Wild made it 3-1 on Kobasew's goal at 3:05 of the second period, ending Toskala's day.

Ian White cut Calgary's deficit to one just 32 seconds after his shot injured Langkow, but Kobasew provided the Wild a two-goal cushion with a shot that beat Kiprusoff low, glove side from the left circle.

Eric Nystrom once again trimmed the Flames' deficit to one with a goal at 5:49 of the third period and Calgary pulled Kiprusoff with 75 seconds left for a late flurry, but couldn't pull even.

Mikko Koivu had a pair of assists for Minnesota and Matt Stajan had two assists for Calgary.

Notes: The top two goaltenders on Finland's Olympic team both started Sunday's game on the bench. Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom was available for the first time since March 9 due to a groin injury but served as Harding's backup. Kiprusoff, 0-2-1 in three starts against the Wild this season, replaced Toskala at 3:05 of the second period. ... D Brent Burns (hip) returned from a six-game absence and assisted on Kobasew's second goal. D Greg Zanon was back on the ice after missing one game because of a broken ankle.

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