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(Monday, March 18th)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, Vancouver 1
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Niklas Backstrom posted 35 saves to help the Minnesota Wild take a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
Matt Cullen, Jonas Brodin and Charlie Coyle each had a goal while Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two assists for the Wild, who have won five of their last six.
It was Minnesota's first win in Vancouver since Jan. 31, 2009, snapping an 11- game slide, and the win moved the Wild two points ahead of the Canucks for the top spot in the Northwest Division.
"There's no question they have been the class of the division the last few years and they are the team to beat coming into just about every season in our division, so we know how important it is to come in here and finally get a win," Cullen said.
Henrik Sedin scored the lone goal and Roberto Luongo stopped 22-of-25 shots in the loss for the Canucks, who have lost two straight.
The game stayed scoreless until halfway through the second period when the Canucks went up on the power play. A shot from the right point by Jason Garrison hit Daniel Sedin in front, but the puck went to the stick of his brother for a wrister home.
Minnesota, though, tied the game five minutes later as Brodin's slap shot from the left point sailed through a screen on the power play.
The Wild made it a 2-1 game 3:20 into the third as Clayton Stoner's wrist shot from just inside the line at the left point was re-directed past Luongo by Coyle for his third of the year.
Cullen gave his team some insurance at the 9:17 mark when he finished off a give-and-go with Devin Setoguchi on his wrister down low.
Vancouver pulled Luongo for an extra attacker with under two minutes to go, but despite spending most of that time in the Minnesota end, was unable to get a shot through.
"In the end it's not about the power-play goals, it's about the wins and we didn't win tonight," Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said.
Minnesota went 1-for-2 on the power play while Vancouver was 1-for-4 ... Vancouver hosts St. Louis on Tuesday ... Minnesota wraps up its four-game road trip in Detroit on Wednesday ... Each team won twice in the season series.
03/19 02:27:36 ET