A CT scan earlier in the day on Henrik Sedin's foot came back clean and the Canucks captain played in his 553rd consecutive game, the second-longest active streak in the NHL. Calgary defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was at 559 entering Thursday.
Henrik's foot appeared to be just fine when he flew in behind a Wild defender and gave the Canucks (34-15-5) a 3-1 lead early in the second period.
Dany Heatley scored 13 seconds into the game for the Wild (25-21-8), the fastest goal to start a game in team history.
But Koivu's return wasn't enough to spark an offense that's scored just once in four straight games and ranks 29th in the NHL in goals.
The Sedin twins have scored 27 career goals and totaled 107 points against Minnesota, but Thursday was the first time both scored in the same game.
Kesler's goal was an empty-netter late in the third period.
Looking to get his team's offense going, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault put the twins on separate lines Tuesday against Nashville. They were back together against Minnesota and now have combined for 113 points this season.
After Heatley's quick goal, Daniel Sedin scored at 4:26 of the first with Vancouver on a 5-on-3 power play.
Lapierre made it 2-1 with 42 seconds left in the first. Henrik Sedin made it 3-1 just 50 seconds into the second.
The Wild, 3-4-1 without Koivu, went almost 20 minutes without a shot on goal to close the first period and start the second before the Koivu-Setoguchi-Heatley line got going again and gave Minnesota some life.
The Wild had a 20-17 advantage in shots when Malhotra tipped Kevin Bieksa's wrist shot past Niklas Backstrom, causing the Wild goalie to stare up in the air in frustration.
Setoguchi scored his 11th goal at 4:02 of the third period.
Minnesota entered tied with Phoenix for eighth in the Western Conference. The win brought the Canucks within one point of idle Detroit for most in the NHL.
It was also the first time in seven games that the Canucks played in a game decided by more than one goal.
Cory Schneider started in net for Vancouver. Regular goalie Roberto Luongo has shut out the Wild three straight times, all at home, but has lost three straight in Minnesota with a 7.00 goals-against average.
Notes: Lapierre, Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were all given game misconducts with less than a minute to play. Cal Clutterbuck was given a misconduct for Minnesota. ... The previous Minnesota record for fastest goal to start a game was 21 seconds by Matt Johnson on March 23, 2003, against Detroit. ... Minnesota placed defenseman Clayton Stoner on the injured list with an unspecified leg injury. Wild coach Mike Yeo said Stoner's status was week to week. ... Canucks wing Dale Weise was scratched with a foot injury.