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Vancouver
Canucks
39-33-10
Minnesota
Wild
44-28-10

26 SOG
20 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
VAN
MIN
game recap

Canucks 4, Wild 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Canucks 4, Wild 2
Vancouver Canucks 4, Minnesota Wild 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -Vancouver captain Markus Naslund did his talking on the ice.

Naslund scored three goals, and the Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 Wednesday night.

Ryan Kesler also scored and Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin each had two assists for the Canucks, 6-0-2 in their last eight games. Vancouver has gone 9-0-2 against Northwest Division opponents this season and moved into a first-place tie with Minnesota.

Marian Gaborik scored twice for the Wild, who lost for the first time in four home games.

"The buildup to this game was all about the remarks of the revenge. You can't intimidate the (Sedin) twins and Markus Naslund," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.

Each team entered the game with considerable anger directed at the other side since last Friday's game in Vancouver.

In that one, Vancouver's Mattias Ohlund earned a four-game suspension for his two-handed slash against Mikko Koivu after Koivu elbowed him in the head. Koivu has missed the past two games with a cracked bone in his left leg but might return next week.

The Canucks were also upset about Gaborik elbowing Kesler in the head, and they said Stephane Veilleux shot the puck at Mike Weaver in the waning seconds of the Canucks' 6-2 win. Veilleux has denied the charge.

Perceiving that some of his Wild teammates were victims of chippy play, enforcer Derek Boogaard said maybe he should check Naslund and the Sedins, whom he referred to as Pinky and the Brain - genetically enhanced lab mice in a cartoon.

"Our guys were focused and ready," Vigneault said. "They're intellectually pretty smart. They don't all watch Pinky and the Brain. They're focused on hockey, and that's what they did tonight."

Like most games between the clubs, this one was physical but called tightly by referees Greg Kimmerly and Mick McGeough. Vancouver's Mike Brown, who had three points and 69 penalty minutes in 17 AHL games this season before being recalled Monday, fought Aaron Voros in the first period for the game's lone bout.

"For people that wanted to see something that wasn't good, clean hockey, it might have been a bit of a letdown," Minnesota defenseman Sean Hill said. "But we have to worry about winning games. We have to worry about getting two points."

With the game tied at 2 early in the third period, Naslund charged in from the right side to tip a wrist shot from Daniel Sedin past Josh Harding. It was his sixth goal in four games, after scoring four in his first 17 contests.

Naslund and Henrik Sedin perfectly executed a 2-on-1 with 3:33 to play to give Naslund his 11th career three-goal game.

"Any divisional game is so important," Naslund said. "You've got to be disciplined and try to take advantage when you get the chances. You know Minnesota is usually playing a good defensive game."

Gaborik was disappointed the Wild didn't put forth a better effort with crucial points on the line.

"The games against Colorado, Calgary, Vancouver, they are always tight and physical," he said. "We just have to be extra ready for those games and try to win as many games as we can. Too bad we didn't win this one."

Vancouver, 7-2-1 on the road, scored twice in 22 seconds to take a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Naslund scored on the power play, when at the left post he redirected a ricochet off the end boards past Harding at 6:27. Kesler completed a rush by scoring on a wraparound at 6:49.

Gaborik beat Curtis Sanford with a one-timer less than a minute later and scored a power-play goal at 10:30 by sending a wrist shot past by Sanford to tie it.

Minnesota had just 20 shots on goal against a Vancouver defense that was missing three injured regulars - Ohlund, Kevin Bieksa and Sami Salo.

"We felt like we didn't give them much out there. Most of the stuff they generated was stuff we kind of gave to them," Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell said. "We're playing a little tighter system, and because of that we're getting results."

Notes: The game concluded a stretch of eight straight games against divisional foes for both teams. ... Hill played for the first time this season. While with the New York Islanders, he was suspended on April 19 for 20 games after testing positive for steroids. Hill has said he doesn't know how the banned substance got into his system. ... Sanford started in goal for Vancouver for the first time in 12 games. It was his second start of the season. ... Wild LW Pavol Demitra took part in the team's morning skate, but missed his seventh straight game due to a strained groin.

scoring summary
1st Period
06:27
VAN
PPG - Markus Naslund (8) ASST: Alexander Edler (5), Brendan Morrison (8)
1 - 0 VAN
06:49
VAN
Ryan Kesler (4) ASST: Aaron Miller (2), Curtis Sanford (1)
2 - 0 VAN
07:20
MIN
Marian Gaborik (6) ASST: Eric Belanger (11), Nick Schultz (5)
2 - 1 VAN
10:30
MIN
PPG - Marian Gaborik (7) ASST: Brian Rolston (8), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (14)
2 - 2 Tie
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
05:04
VAN
Markus Naslund (9) ASST: Daniel Sedin (12), Henrik Sedin (16)
3 - 2 VAN
16:27
VAN
Markus Naslund (10) ASST: Henrik Sedin (17), Daniel Sedin (13)
4 - 2 VAN
penalty summary
1st Period
05:30
MIN
Stephane Veilleux  Charging against  Markus Naslund
07:22
MIN
Aaron Voros  Fighting against  Mike Brown
07:22
VAN
Mike Brown  Fighting against  Aaron Voros
08:26
VAN
Ryan Kesler  Tripping against  Eric Belanger
09:51
VAN
Willie Mitchell  Hi-sticking against  Marian Gaborik
12:14
MIN
Nick Schultz  Hooking against  Taylor Pyatt
15:19
MIN
Nick Schultz  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Byron Ritchie
15:19
VAN
Matt Cooke  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Nick Schultz
16:06
VAN
Brendan Morrison  Tripping against  Eric Belanger
17:16
MIN
Marian Gaborik  Slashing against  Byron Ritchie
2nd Period
15:27
MIN
Sean Hill  Holding the stick against  Matt Cooke
19:32
VAN
Markus Naslund  Holding against  Marian Gaborik
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Curtis Sanford
SA: 20TOI: 60:00
Saves: 18EV: 15 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .900SH: 0 - 0
Josh Harding
SA: 26TOI: 59:33
Saves: 22EV: 20 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .846SH: 1 - 1