Wild Get 3 Early Goals, Beat Canucks 4-2

Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kevin Fiala and Brad Hunt each had a goal and an assist as part of Minnesota’s three-goal first period and the Wild beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Thursday night.

Ryan Hartman and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota. Alex Stalock stopped 24 shots to establish a career high with his 13th win of the season.

J.T. Miller and Antoine Roussel scored and Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves for Vancouver, which has played 10 of its last 13 games on the road and finished a five-game trip 2-2-1. Winners of nine straight at Rogers Arena, the Canucks begin a six-game homestand Saturday.

They hope to have Elias Pettersson back. The top-line centre, who has 23 goals and 55 points, was a late scratch with a lower-body injury that occurred on a late hit Tuesday in Boston.

Elias Pettersson Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Minnesota, which began the day six points out of a playoff spot, finished 5-2 on its season-high, seven-game homestand, yet remain at the bottom of the Central Division.

Parise scored his team-leading 20th goal in the third period to make it 4-1. It’s the fifth time Parise has hit that mark with Minnesota, tying Marian Gaborik for most in team history.

Hunt gave the Wild an early 1-0 lead before a miscue by Markstrom led to a 2-0 advantage midway through the first.

The Vancouver goalie blindly passed a puck behind his net where it was intercepted by Mikko Koivu. The Wild captain sent a quick pass to Hartman for an easy backhand goal.

Fiala made it 3-0 late in the frame. He has three goals in two games after scoring once in his previous 17.

Kevin Fiala Minnesota Wild
Kevin Fiala, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Miller scored on the power play midway through the second to get Vancouver within 3-1. Quinn Hughes had an assist to reach the 40-point mark in his rookie season.

Roussel scored on a late power play. The Canucks went 2 for 4 with the man-advantage and are 3 for 17 in six games since the All-Star break, and 6 for 48 over the last 14 games.

NOTES

To replace Pettersson, C Zack MacEwen played for the first time since Dec. 12. He lost a fight with Marcus Foligno in the second period. … Minnesota’s Jason Zucker and Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen dropped the gloves in the first period. It was Zucker’s first career fight and Virtanen’s third. His last was March 12, 2016. … Canucks’ D Oscar Fantenberg left with an upper-body injury.

UP NEXT

Canucks: host Calgary on Saturday.

Wild: at Dallas on Friday night.

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More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Mike Cook, The Associated Press

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