St. Paul, MN – Zach Parise scored a pair of goals and assisted on another to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in a Northwest Division clash from XCel Energy Center.
Jared Spurgeon contributed a goal and an assist for Minnesota, which roared out to a 3-0 lead less than five minutes into the second period en route to extending its home winning streak to four straight games. Jason Zucker also tallied to help back up a solid 25-save effort from Niklas Backstrom.
"Our guys were ready for this one, for sure," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. "We feel like we're a team that's on the up and going in the right direction, and we were looking forward to this chance."
Chris Higgins and Henrik Sedin had the goals for slumping Vancouver, dealt its fourth consecutive defeat while falling to 3-5-4 over its last 12 outings. Cory Schneider finished with 28 saves in a losing cause.
"It's not time to panic yet," said Schneider afterward. "It is time to get some urgency and win hockey games."
The Wild got off to a terrific start, creating a 3-on-2 rush shortly after the initial faceoff that Parise finished with a quick wrister from the left wing that gave his team a 1-0 edge just 24 seconds in.
Minnesota took a two-goal advantage into the first intermission courtesy of Zucker, with the rookie converting a wraparound centering pass from Matt Cullen with just 29 seconds left in the opening session.
A tripping penalty taken by Mason Raymond put the Canucks in an even greater hole early in the second period, as Minnesota cashed in on the man advantage when Spurgeon rocketed a slap shot from just outside the left circle past Schneider with 4:12 elapsed in the middle stanza.
Higgins put Vancouver on the board by one-timing an Andrew Alberts feed from a tough angle less than four minutes after Spurgeon's score, and the re- energized Canucks moved closer when a deflected shot bounced off Sedin's skate and trickled by Backstrom just over a minute into the third period.
Backstrom stood tall the rest of the way, however, and Parise provided some insurance when the prized offseason acquisition knocked in a rebound of a Ryan Suter attempt with 13:31 left to play after the Wild's Charlie Coyle kept the puck in the Vancouver zone by fighting off a pair of defenders.
Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert was scratched prior to the game due to illness ... Sedin's scored extended his point streak to seven games, during which he's recorded four goals and five assists ... Suter also has a seven-game point streak (1 goal, 7 assists) after posting a pair of assists ... Minnesota improved to 9-2-1 on home ice this season and has notched a point in six consecutive outings at XCel Energy Center (5-0-1).