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Dubnyk, Wild roll past Canucks for sixth straight win

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With goaltender Devan Dubnyk not as sharp as he had been recently, the Minnesota Wild provided plenty of offensive support to pick up their goaltender.

Five different players scored goals and seven others had at least a point as the Wild won 5-3 against the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

Along with goals from Jordan Schroeder and Kyle Brodziak, Jason Pominville and Ryan Suter ended long goal droughts in the win, as Minnesota extended its season-high winning streak to six games.

The victory pulled the Wild to within three points of the Canucks in the Western Conference wild-card standings for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"There was a lot at stake for both teams," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "But for me, it was just making sure, a playoff-like game, keeping your emotions and being able to keep your focus and I thought we did that well."

Minnesota (26-20-6) lost two players to injury in the first half of the first period. Forwards Ryan Carter and Jason Zucker each sustained an upper-body injury and did not return, forcing the Wild to play the majority of the game with 10 forwards.

Vancouver (29-20-3) had the first four shots on goal, but the Wild opened scoring on their first shot, as the former Canuck Schroeder capped an odd-man rush by tucking a backhander past Ryan Miller and under the crossbar at 5:05 of the first period. Schroeder, drafted by Vancouver in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft, scored his first goal with Minnesota.

"I knew I had a lane to the net," Schroeder said. "I yelled at [Charlie Coyle] to get me the puck and he did. Great play, great pass, I was fortunate enough to finish it."

Jason Pominville made it 2-0 at 7:37 of the first period, capitalizing on Minnesota's first power play. Thomas Vanek controlled the puck to Miller's left and sent a backdoor pass to Pominville who shot into an open net, ending a 12-game goal drought.

"With all the chances and shots and attempts I've been getting lately, it hasn't really gone my way. It was almost like someone put a spell on me," Pominville said. "It was nice to move it around on that power play, get a look. Great play by [Vanek]."

Vancouver forward Zack Kassian capped a quick rush at 10:18, beating Dubnyk low along the ice to pull Vancouver within a goal at 2-1.

A turnover in the neutral zone ended up on the stick of Minnesota forward Nino Niederreiter, who worked a give-and-go with Mikko Koivu, sending a one-timer in the slot past Miller at 15:37, giving the Wild a 3-1 lead after one period.

"If we get out of there 2-1, it's a different kind of game," Miller said. "We're chasing the whole time. It makes it tough."

The Canucks got a goal early in the second when forward Shawn Matthias controlled a loose puck near the left post and shot into an open net at 1:11 for his 10th goal.

Minnesota's power play came through again at 7:05 when Suter's slap shot got through a Zach Parise screen in front for his second goal of the season and first since opening night.

Brodziak scored from the right face-off dot less than a minute later to send Miller to the bench. Eddie Lack finished with 14 saves in relief of Miller, who allowed five goals on 18 shots and was pulled for the fourth time this season.

"Feast or famine I guess. Four hooks and six shutouts," Miller said.

Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton scored with 2:03 left on a tip-in of a Daniel Sedin shot from the right point.

"It thought we played pretty good, really, I think five-on-five, we were outshooting them 17-14 after two," Canucks coach Willie Dejardins said. "Special teams got us into trouble tonight."

Dubnyk improved to 8-1-0 since he was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14. The goal allowed to Kassian in the first period ended his shutout streak at 136:57.

Canucks forward Nick Bonino left the game on Suter's goal after blocking an initial shot from the point and crumpling to the ice. The puck went right back to Suter who scored on the next shot.

Yeo said Carter and Zucker will not travel with the team for the game Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets, and their status for games against the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes later this week is also in doubt.

"We should not expect them back in the lineup in the near future," Yeo said.

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