Published January 20, 2011
CALGARY, Alberta – Niklas Backstrom returned from a hip injury to make 37 saves for his second shutout of the season in the Minnesota Wild's 6-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.
Backstrom, in goal for the first time since Dec. 31, has 21 career NHL shutouts.
Martin Havlat had two goals and an assist, John Madden, Chuck Kobasew and Cal Clutterbuck each had a goal and an assist and Mikko Koivu also scored. Kyle Brodziak had three assists, and Andrew Brunette added two.
Coming off victories over Vancouver on Sunday night and in Edmonton on Tuesday night with Anton Khudobin in goal, the Wild have won three straight and seven of their last 10 to pull within a point of Colorado and Chicago Blackhawks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in first 6:04.
Havlat opened the scoring at 3:25, blasting a shot over Miikka Kiprusoff's left pad, and Koivu doubled the lead on a power play, snapping a shot through traffic past the screened Kiprusoff.
Madden scored late in the second, and Clutterbuck, Kobasew and Havlat added goals in the third.
NOTES: Calgary right winger Tom Kostopoulos served the fifth game of his six-game suspension for his high hit Jan. 7 that broke Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart's jaw. ... Minnesota is 20-2-4 when it scores the first goal. ... Kiprusoff made 18 saves.