Rookie defenseman David Savard scored his first career goal and added an assist to lift the Blue Jackets past the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Tuesday night and give Columbus' Todd Richards a win in his first game as coach against his former team.

Antoine Vermette added a power-play goal and Jeff Carter scored his second goal in as many games after missing 10 with a shoulder injury for Columbus.

Curtis Sanford made 28 saves to improve to 10-12-4.

Richards was 77-71-16 with the Wild from 2009-11 before being fired last April. He is 4-7-1 for Columbus since taking over for Scott Arniel on Jan. 9.

Nate Prosser scored his first career goal for Minnesota.

Niklas Backstrom made 34 saves for the Wild.

Columbus played physical at the start of the game and outshot Minnesota 14-7.

After Derek Dorsett had a thunderous check on Prosser behind the Wild goal, the two had a fight at 7:10 of the period.

A bit later in the period, Savard scored with a shot from the point through traffic past Backstrom at 8:59.

Prossser sent a one-timer past a screened Sanford at 18:39 to tie it at 1-1.

In the second period, Sanford kicked away a hard Erik Christensen power-play shot to keep the game even.

Vermette then made Columbus' next power play count, sliding in a backhand from the slot for his seventh goal and first in 11 games at 15:31 to make it 2-1.

In the third period, Carter jammed home a rebound for his 12th goal at 5:38 to make it 3-1. Colton Gillies and Savard picked up the assists.

NOTES: Wild captain Mikko Koivu missed his eighth straight game due to a shoulder injury. ... Christensen, acquired from the Rangers last week, made his Minnesota debut, finishing with 11:21 of ice time and a minus-2 rating. ... Savard became the 29th player to score for Columbus this season, a league high and a franchise record.