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Dubnyk, Wild shut out Blackhawks, 4th win in row @NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild made goaltender Devan Dubnyk's job easy against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dubnyk made 24 saves, backing an electric effort by the Wild's second line in a 3-0 win at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Since being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14, Dubnyk is 6-1-0 and has three shutouts in eight starts. In the midst of a six-game losing streak when the trade was made, the Wild have won four straight since the All-Star break ended Jan. 26.

Minnesota outshot Chicago 43-24, provided early offensive support, then controlled the Blackhawks in a dominant second period, peppering goaltender Corey Crawford with a Wild record 24 shots.

"That was just an incredible game by our guys," Dubnyk said. "When they're working that hard and they're on top of just about every puck, it allows me to read plays easily. I know what's available and I trust that the guys got covered what's not and it makes it a much easier game for me."

The Blackhawks, who lost to the San Jose Sharks 2-0 on Saturday, were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since October 2006.

Minnesota coach Mike Yeo, asked if he thought the Wild has played a better game this season, thought about it.

"Probably not," Yeo said. "Hopefully that's a sign of things to come. It's probably not going to go like that every night, but a lot of the things that we were doing really well, those are the things that are going to continue to bring us success."

Wild captain Mikko Koivu scored a goal and assisted on another in the first 10 minutes.

Koivu's goal at 7:40 came off a scramble in front after Crawford was unable to corral the puck for a whistle. It caromed to Koivu in the slot, where he pounded in a backhand from the top of the crease.

Minutes later, defenseman Marco Scandella's outlet pass sprung Jason Zucker on a breakaway. Zucker faked to his forehand before lifting a backhand under the crossbar at 10:00.

"We're fast when we have the puck moving north and that was an example of it," Yeo said. "That was a long pass from our [defenseman] straight up to a forward. There wasn't a lot of east-west plays."

Jason Pominville, Koivu and Zucker each finished plus-2 and combined for 13 shots on goal.

"That line has been great for us lately," Yeo said. "I felt bad for them because they weren't getting rewarded, getting chance after chance. They've been great at both ends of the ice."

Crawford (40 saves) was the lone reason Chicago was able to keep the score manageable entering the third period. The Wild spent entire shifts in the Blackhawks zone, outshooting Chicago 17-2 over the first half of the second period.

"With the skill that they have, we wanted to keep pressing," Koivu said. "All four lines were rolling, and from the defensive zone to the offensive zone, I thought we were a good package and that's what we need to do."

Zucker had a chance for his second on another breakaway chance in the second period, but Crawford was able to make a pad save, also sprawling to stop Scandella's rebound bid.

"He was rock-solid," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "He had a decent first as well. He looked big and square. I thought he did a good job of controlling the dangerous shots."

Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said, "He made a lot of big saves, kept the score within striking distance there in the third, and we weren't able to help him."

Minnesota (24-20-6) scored its third goal at 14:12 of the second period when Mikael Granlund's one-timer shot from the slot eluded Crawford following a nice pass from Zach Parise in the right corner.

Chicago (31-18-2) outshot Minnesota 10-8 in the third period, but they were mostly from the perimeter.

"We don't make excuses for ourselves," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We are professionals. We [have to] show up and play, we [have to] work, and we didn't do that tonight. I don't think we're too proud of the effort we gave."

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