CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Niklas Backstrom upstaged Miikka Kiprusoff after backing up the Calgary star for Finland in the Olympics.
"You never know what to expect when you come out from a break," said Backstrom, who made just one start at the Olympics as Kiprusoff's backup for the bronze-medal winning Finns. "We got off to a good start and played a really solid team game tonight."
Kyle Brodziak and Martin Havlat also scored.
After Brodziak opened the scoring in the first period, the Wild stretched their lead to on a pair dazzling second-period rushes.
Brunette finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play started by Koivu and Finnish Olympic teammate Anti Miettinen at 10:12 for his 18th of the season.
Less than 4 minutes later, Koivu dashed down the wing and wired a rising slap shot inside the far post past Kiprusoff.
"It's always fun to play against Kiprusoff," Koivu said. "We're from the same hometown, I know him a little bit from skating with him in the summer. It's a great challenge for us always when we play against him, it's fun."
The Wild had lost seven of their previous eight road games.
"For some reason, it's been real difficult for us on the road this year," Brodziak said. "It's tough to explain how we play so great at home but we almost feel like a different team on the road. But tonight, it was a good step for us for our confidence on the road."
Minnesota moved within three points of Calgary and four points of Detroit, which holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Calgary is ninth, one point up on Dallas.
"We just played a bad hockey game," Flames center Matt Stajan said. "Nothing else you can really say. My line couldn't generate anything, gave up a lot of odd-man rushes and they capitalized. It's tough to play from behind against a team like that. Bottom line is we have to be better."
NOTES: The game was penalty free until the third period, when Wild defenseman Greg Zanon was sent off for playing with a broken stick. ... Calgary is 3-8-1 in its last 12 games at the Saddledome. ... The Flames have been either shutout or held to one goal in nine of their last 17 games.
|Kyle Brodziak (8) ASST: Owen Nolan (15), Marek Zidlicky (32)|
1 - 0 MIN
|Andrew Brunette (18) ASST: Antti Miettinen (16), Mikko Koivu (41)|
2 - 0 MIN
|Mikko Koivu (17) ASST: Andrew Brunette (31), Cam Barker (11)|
3 - 0 MIN
|Martin Havlat (15) ASST: Guillaume Latendresse (10), Shane Hnidy (11)|
4 - 0 MIN
|Greg Zanon Broken stick|
|Derek Boogaard Cross checking against Mark Giordano|