Vancouver Canucks ward off Minnesota Wild
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Right winger Radim Vrbata's first two-goal game of the season helped the Vancouver Canucks kick off a four-game road trip with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.Vancouver trailed 1-0 late in the first per...
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Right winger Radim Vrbata’s first two-goal game of the season helped the Vancouver Canucks kick off a four-game road trip with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
Vancouver trailed 1-0 late in the first period before Vrbata tied the score and then gave the Canucks the lead for good in the second period with a power-play goal.
Goaltender Ryan Miller did the rest of the work for the Canucks (9-8-6), stopping 30 shots. Right winger Jannik Hansen added a third-period goal for Vancouver that turned out to be the winner.
Left winger Thomas Vanek got Minnesota on the board first, but offense was hard to come by for the Wild (11-6-3), who lost at home for just the second time this season.
Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk, starting his 12th consecutive game, had 25 saves.
With Dubnyk on the bench late in the third period, the Wild got a goal by center Charlie Coyle with 80 seconds remaining. Minnesota had a power play for the final 32 seconds but could not get the equalizer despite a frantic attack.
The Wild took advantage of the first period’s only power play, when captain Mikko Koivu fired a pass from the low left corner to Vanek in the slot. Vanek settled the puck then snapped a rising shot past Miller’s glove for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.
The Canucks have now allowed a power play goal in 10 of their last 11 games.
Vancouver stuck back in the final half-minute of the period when Vrbata caught a centering pass in the high slot and flipped a low wrist shot past Dubnyk on the stick side. It was the second goal in as many games for Vrbata, who is back in the lineup after missing two games last week with a groin ailment.
The game’s first Vancouver power play, in the second period, featured end-to-end action. Miller kept the score tied, for a time, thwarting Coyle on a short-handed break to the net. A short time later, Vrbata caught a pass from center Henrik Sedin and managed to get off a rising shot, beating Dubnyk on the glove side.
The Canucks dominated much of the period, outshooting Minnesota 10-5, but could not increase their lead.