|Date of game: 3/26/2014
Recap: Minnesota vs. Vancouver
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - David Booth scored two goals, Eddie Lack made 29 saves and the Vancouver Canucks continued their playoff push with a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
The Canucks, who have won three straight games for the first time since Dec. 20-29, climbed to within four points of Phoenix for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Vancouver played Wednesday without captain Henrik Sedin. The forward didn't accompany the team on its two-game road trip that ends Thursday in Denver, and is listed as day-to-day with a left knee injury suffered in Sunday's win against Buffalo.
The Wild remain three points ahead of the Coyotes for the top wild-card spot, but have hit a rough patch. Minnesota has dropped three straight at Xcel Energy Center and eight of its last 11 games overall.
Darcy Kuemper allowed three goals on 12 shots in two periods before being replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 5-of-7 shots in the third period.
Booth opened the scoring with 4:21 remaining in the first period, blazing down the right wing and using Wild defenseman Jonathon Blum as a screen. Booth flew into the Minnesota zone after retrieving a puck he chipped past one Minnesota player and snapped a shot between Blum's legs that beat Kuemper.
The Wild's Charlie Coyle netted the equalizer less than two minutes later, extending his goal streak to three games. Mikko Koivu flipped the puck off the glass and it bounced fortuitously to Coyle, who skated to the top of the left circle before firing a shot past Lack's glove with 2:29 left in the first.
Booth put the Canucks up 2-1 at 11:57 of the second period. Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon whiffed on a pass in his own zone and the turnover led to Booth beating Kuemper on a wrister from the slot.
The Wild came close to tying things up on a power play. A puck got behind Lack, but Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler swept it off the goal line to preserve the lead.
Zack Kassian outmuscled Coyle to gain possession of the puck after a faceoff in the Minnesota zone and scored on a turnaround shot from the left circle, giving Vancouver a 3-1 lead with 56.1 seconds left in the second.
Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler, who each recently returned from injury, scored 49 seconds apart to make it 5-1 in the third period. Sedin tipped in Dan Hamhuis' point shot for his first goal in 24 games played at 11:12, then Kesler converted on a power play with a backhander at 12:01.
Nino Niederreiter scored Minnesota's second goal 24 seconds later, one-timing a feed from Erik Haula.Game Notes
The Wild announced that goaltender Niklas Backstrom and forward Jason Zucker
underwent successful surgeries on Tuesday. Backstrom had a procedure performed
on an abdominal muscle and Zucker had a tendon in his left quadriceps
repaired. Both players are expected to miss the remainder of the season ...
Vancouver ended a four-game losing streak to Minnesota.