Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Zucker's seventh and eighth goals of the season powered the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday.
Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise also scored and Mikko Koivu supplied two assists for Minnesota, which bounced back from Saturday's 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay and has won five of its last six games.
"I was just trying to play hard," Zucker said. "It was nice to get that win."
Niklas Backstrom turned aside 29 shots in his first start since Nov. 16.
Shawn Thornton netted Florida's lone goal and Roberto Luongo made 34 stops in defeat.
"They were all over," Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad said. "We just couldn't find a way to get the offense going."
Zucker's wrister from the right circle eluded Luongo to open the scoring nearly six minutes into the game
Niederreiter later gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone and finished off a breakaway by lifting a backhander over Luongo for a 2-0 Wild lead with 2:17 left in the first period.
Just over five minutes into the second, Thornton initially had a goal waved off after the officials ruled it was knocked in with a high stick. However, replay overturned the call for a good goal.
Zucker tallied his second goal of the night after he took the puck from the left corner and backhanded a high shot over the glove of Luongo for a 3-1 lead late in the second.
Parise buried an empty-net marker with 1:29 left in regulation to account for the final score.
The Panthers lost in regulation to the Wild in South Florida for the first time since Oct. 16, 2008 ... Backstrom improved to 6-0-1 in seven career games against the Panthers ... Niederreiter now has eight points (seven goals and one assist) in his last six games.