|MIN||1||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|FLA||2||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
Two goals in 53 seconds were just enough for the Florida Panthers to win their third consecutive home game.
Higgins opened the scoring at 6:53 when he picked off a pass near the blue line and brought the puck behind the net. He pushed the puck out to traffic in front, then grabbed a rebound off Jose Theodore's glove and poked it in.
"You've got to be tough in your own building," Higgins said. "We want to make it tough for teams to come down here and grab points from us."
Rostislav Olesz then set up Santorelli for a wrister that beat Theodore and made it 2-0.
"It was a big start. We came out moving our feet and got two goals and the game tightened up after that," Santorelli said. "It was a hard-fought battle."
"It's tough when you put yourself in a hole like that," Clutterbuck said. "Take away the first five minutes and it was a pretty good hockey game. Sometimes you don't get the bounces to climb out of it."
The Wild was coming off a 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night.
"You need your big dogs to step up in big games," coach Todd Richards said. "Coming off a loss, it's a big game."
As the game ended, Florida's Steve Bernier took a stick to the face and sustained a cut on his cheekbone, below the eye. Minnesota's Brent Burns received a fighting penalty and a game misconduct penalty at 20:00 for his role in the incident.
"I don't know how it happened. I saw he was bleeding," Burns said. "He just came at me, and maybe my glove got him, I don't know."
The extent of his injury won't be known until later, according to Florida coach Peter DeBoer.
"It looks like he got a butt end in the face," DeBoer said. "Whether there was intent there or not, that's for other people to decide. He's pretty hurt in there."
Florida forward Radek Dvorak became the franchise leader in games played with 574, breaking the mark set by defenseman Robert Svehla from 1994-2002. Dvorak played for Florida from 1995-2000 before returning as a free agent in 2007.
Material from wire services and team media were used in this report
|Chris Higgins (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Dmitry Kulikov (2), Radek Dvorak (4)|
1 - 0 FLA
|Mike Santorelli (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Rostislav Olesz (7), Dennis Wideman (8)|
2 - 0 FLA
|PPG - Cal Clutterbuck (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Nick Schultz (3), Marty Havlat (9)|
2 - 1 FLA
|Mike Weaver Holding against Matt Cullen|
|Steve Bernier Interference on goalkeeper against Jose Theodore|
|Clayton Stoner Tripping against Chris Higgins|
|Greg Zanon Cross checking against Marty Reasoner|
|Clayton Stoner Holding against David Booth|
|Cam Barker Hooking against Steve Reinprecht|
|Steve Bernier Boarding against Eric Nystrom|
|Brent Burns Fighting (maj) against Steve Bernier|
|Brent Burns Game misconduct|
|Cal Clutterbuck Roughing against Bryan Allen|
|Bryan Allen Cross checking against Cal Clutterbuck|