ST. PAUL, Minn. – Anton Khudobin stopped 32 shots for his first career shutout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Sunday night.
Andrew Brunette, Martin Havlat, Matt Cullen and John Madden scored for the Wild, who had been outscored 13-2 in three straight losses.
Vancouver has lost two of three after a 17-game unbeaten streak. The Canucks are 1-2-0 against Minnesota this season, but 10-0-0 against the rest of the Northwest Division. Vancouver has lost its last four in Minnesota by a combined 21-6. Minnesota is the first team to beat Vancouver twice in regulation this season.
Vancouver played much of the game with just five defensemen after Andrew Alberts left midway through the first period with a right shoulder injury.
Khudobin was recalled from Houston of the AHL Jan. 8 after it was determined top goaltender Niklas Backstrom would be out for about another week with an injured hip. Jose Theodore, who took over the top goaltender duties, then sustained a similar injury and Khudobin has started two straight.
Backstrom was in uniform for the first time since Dec. 31, serving as the backup.
In his fifth career game, Khudobin was aided by a Wild defense that did a nice job of collapsing around their goaltender to not allow quality rebound opportunities. Two of his better stops came in the third period. He lunged back across the crease to stop Henrik Sedin on a power play and stopped Keith Ballard with a right pad save.
Vancouver's best scoring chance was late in the first period, but Minnesota defenseman Brent Burns swatted a puck out of the crease as it was about to trickle over the goal line
After dominating the first period, including getting the game's first nine shots, Brunette gave the Wild a 1-0 lead early in the second period. He was stopped coming in from the right side, but goaltender Cory Schneider couldn't cover the puck, and after a scramble, Brunette dove back to poke it in.
Havlat benefited from an Alex Edler turnover midway through the period, picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, going in alone and beating Schneider through the pads.
Cullen made it 3-0 on a short-handed breakaway early in the third after Christian Ehrhoff failed to hold the puck in at the left point. It was Cullen's third short-handed goal of the season, tying him with four other players for the league lead.
Madden scored on a tip midway through the period.
Vancouver played much of the game with just five defensemen after Andrew Alberts left the game midway through the first period with a right shoulder injury. Alberts replaced Aaron Rome who sustained a mild medial collateral ligament sprain Friday and is expected to miss two to three weeks.
Notes: The teams played the final 10 minutes of the first period without a whistle. ... The Canucks recalled D Chris Tanev from AHL Manitoba. ... Wild D Marco Scandella, who required 25 stitches after getting hit in the ear with a puck Friday, did not play. ... Ballard and Minnesota's Chuck Kobasew fought in the second period. It was Kobasew's first fight since Feb. 24, 2009, when he fought Ballard.