CALGARY, Alberta – Mikko Koivu had a goal and two assists for the Minnesota Wild, who opened up a home-and-home series by beating the Calgary Flames 3-1 victory on Saturday night.
Antti Miettinen and Chuck Kobasew also scored for the Wild, and Niklas Backstrom made 28 saves — including 14 in the third period.
Matt Stajan had the only goal for the Flames.
The Northwest Division rivals will meet again Monday night in Minnesota.
With the game scoreless, the Wild got an opportunity with 5:57 left in the second period when Niklas Hagman was penalized for a chop on defenseman Marek Zidlicky.
Minnesota took advantage of its first power play when Koivu sent a cross-ice pass to Miettinen, who one-timed a shot past goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.
The goal came after an uneventful first half of the game that included a 10-minute stretch of listless play in which the teams combined for one shot.
Minnesota increased its lead to 2-0 in the final minute of the second. Koivu redirected the puck past Kiprusoff after Wild defenseman Brent Burns sent a low shot toward the front of the net. Andrew Brunette sparked the play with a clever pass to Burns and earned the second assist at 19:07.
Stajan broke Backstrom's shutout bid at 14:43 of the third period with his second goal in 45 games, dating to last season.
Backstrom, who had allowed 28 goals in his previous six starts, looked sharp. His biggest stop was a glove save off Alex Tanguay early in the second on a sharp-angled one-timer.
Calgary captain Jarome Iginla failed to earn a point, ending his streak at nine games. He had five goals and seven assists during the run, that was the second-longest active streak behind a 20-game spurt by Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.
NOTES: The Flames were 0 for 1 on the power play. ... It was the first time since Oct. 19 that the Wild scored more than one goal in the second period. ... Minnesota C Matt Cullen (groin) returned after missing three games. D Cam Barker sat out because of personal reasons. ... Flames LW Curtis Glencross was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. ... Iginla's 31 career goals against the Wild are the most of any opponent, 13 more than Milan Hejduk and Daymond Langkow, who are next on the list. Calgary is 18-2-1 against Minnesota when Iginla scores.