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Backstrom makes 34 saves against Penguins, gives Wild's first road win of season

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH - Niklas Backstrom made 34 saves and the Minnesota Wild won on the road for the first time this season, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Saturday night.

Kyle Brodziak and Eric Belanger scored in the first period for the Wild, who avoided being the first NHL team in 17 years to start 0-9 on the road. Including Minnesota's victory over the New York Rangers on Friday, the Wild won consecutive games for the first time this season.

Minnesota beat the Stanley Cup champion Penguins (11-3), who own the NHL's best record, despite being outshot 35-15. The Wild (5-9) are 3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents.

Backstrom, a Vezina Trophy finalist last season, allowed only a goal to Pascal Dupuis in the first period.

His best work might have came in the third period, when Pittsburgh has been at its best. The Penguins had won three of five previous games in which they trailed after two periods - including overcoming a late 3-1 deficit in a shootout victory at Columbus on Friday.

Backstrom stopped multiple Penguins during a flurry when the teams were playing 4-on-4 with nine minutes left. He also robbed Kris Letang, who was in alone, about two minutes later.

Pittsburgh, which came in 9-1 when recording at least 30 shots, pressured Backstrom until the final horn. The Penguins created scoring chances after Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled for an extra skater in the final minute.

The Penguins had more shots on goal in the first period (16) than Minnesota had in the game but trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes.

The Wild had only one shot until the sequence that gave them a 1-0 lead. Brodziak slapped a loose puck into an open net after a shot by Brent Burns from the point was deflected into Fleury by Chuck Kobasew 12:11 in.

Dupuis tied it 1-1 with a one-timed slap shot. Craig Adams won a faceoff back to point man Martin Skoula, who quickly fed Dupuis in the slot.

Belanger, who also scored in a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Friday, gave the Wild the lead for good with 0.6 seconds to play in the first. Martin Havlat found him wide open in the right circle, and Belanger fired a wrist shot past Fleury, who lost for the second time this season.

NOTES: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby got the fourth fighting major of his NHL career when he traded slashes - and then punches - with Wild D Marek Zidlicky late in the second period. ... Crosby had a six-game point streak snapped. ... The most recent team to start 0-9 on the road was the expansion Ottawa Senators in the 1992-93 season. ... Belanger has a three-game point streak. He left the game with 1:34 to play after an inadvertent high stick drew blood from his face. ... The Penguins fell to 29-6-4 under coach Dan Bylsma.

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