Wild emerge from slump to dampen Flames hot streak

ST PAUL, Minnesota (Reuters) - Eric Belanger marked his 600th NHL game by scoring two goals to help the Minnesota Wild snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the red-hot Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

Flames center Olli Jokinen opened the scoring at 1.34 in the first period as the visitors appeared set to build on their five-game winning streak.

Belanger struck again just under seven minutes later before Cal Clutterbuck completed the scoring with a wrist shot in the third.

"Even with the result of the last two games I felt we played pretty good. We didn't get the wins, but there were some positives," Belanger told reporters.

"You look at the standings and you don't move up, but you're doing some good things and you're going to get rewarded sooner or later."

Calgary was trying to record a six-game winning streak for the first time since 2008 but could not score a second against Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who made 25 saves to help make up for conceding four goals in each of his last two starts.

Miikka Kiprusoff, named to Finland's Olympic team where he is expected to be backed up by Backstrom, made 31 saves and faced 35 shots for the Flames. The Flames had allowed just one goal in their last five contests before facing the Wild.

Jokinen scored for the second straight night after ending a scoring drought that stretched back to early December.

Despite the loss, Calgary retained a one-point lead in the Northwest Division over the Colorado Avalanche, who also lost on Wednesday.

"We just weren't quite on top of our game," Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr said.

"There were passes that we could have been a lot better with. There were opportunities that we normally take advantage of, or make, that we didn't do.

"All sorts of stuff like that, and it just leads to giving the other team momentum."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)