VANCOUVER, B.C. - Marc-Andre Bergeron's second goal of the game gave the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
The hard-luck Canucks outshot the Wild 40-27 but still suffered a record-extending ninth-straight home loss as Niklas Backstrom recorded 37 saves. Mikko Koivu and Eric Belanger also scored for the Wild before a disheartened sellout crowd of 18,630 at General Motors Place.
With the win, Minnesota moved into a five-way tie for the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference.
It was Vancouver's eighth consecutive loss overall. Ryan Kesler led the Canucks with two power-play goals while Alex Edler also tallied for the Canucks, who remain two points back of the playoff-qualifying pack.
Bergeron's winner came on the power play at 1:52 after Daniel Sedin was called for hooking Koivu. Kesler's second goal - with only 15.3 seconds left in the third - period forced overtime. It came after Minnesota defenceman Brent Burns took a tripping penalty at 18:28.
In their previous two home games, the Canucks squandered a pair of two-goal leads, but they trailed throughout Saturday's contest. Minnesota led 2-0 after the first period and 2-1 after the second.
Backstrom excelled after being pulled three minutes into the second period in a loss Friday in Edmonton.
The Canucks got into early penalty trouble and the Wild quickly capitalized. Koivu, a perennial thorn in Vancouver's side, gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead on a power play 7:38 into the game as he put in a weak backhand on Roberto Luongo's short side. It was Koivu's fourth goal in four games against the Canucks this season.
Four minutes later, Bergeron doubled Minnesota's lead as his point shot fooled a screened Luongo.
Kesler reduced the Wild's lead to 2-1 on a power play at 3:37 of the second period as he crashed into Backstrom on a rush. The puck appeared to go into the net off Kesler's skate, but officials ruled the goal was good after a lengthy video review.
Vancouver received a full five-minute power play after Cal Clutterbuck received a major and game misconduct for boarding Alex Burrows. But the Canucks could not capitalize on eight shots - and Kyle Wellwood fanned on two other excellent chances - during the extended man-advantage opportunity.
The Wild then held the Canucks to only one shot for the rest of the period.
Late in the second period, Luongo slid right across his crease to rob Pierre-Marc Bouchard as he fired a one-timer at an open net.
Edler created a 2-2 deadlock at 3:03 of the third period as he blasted a slapshot past Backstrom. The goal came moments after Backstrom had stopped another slapper from Edler.
However, Belanger netted the winner less than five minutes later as he took a pass from Bouchard, sidestepped a defender, and put home a wrist shot from the slot.
Notes: Vancouver scratched speedy winger Mason Raymond, who has gone pointless in his last 10 games, and defenceman Shane O'Brien, who sat out for the first time joining the Canucks in a trade from Tampa Bay in October. . . . Winger Mike Brown drew into the Vancouver lineup after being a healthy scratch for nine straight games, along with defenceman Rob Davison. . . . Minnesota winger Andrew Brunette, the NHL's current active ironman, played his 502nd consecutive game. . . . Despite enforcer Brown's addition, top Minnesota pugilist Derek Boogard was rested. . . . Linesman Lonnie Cameron suffered a cut cheek when hit by a Canucks' dump-in late in the second period. A Canucks trainer bandaged him up right on the ice and he stayed in the game.