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game recap

Granlund scores twice, Wild defeat Canadiens

Minnesota forward sets new career-high with his 10th goal

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

Granlund scores twice on Condon

MIN@MTL: Granlund nets two against the Canadiens

3/12/16: Mikael Granlund scores two goals against the Canadiens, one at even strength and the other on the power play

  • 00:55 •

MONTREAL -- While the Minnesota Wild were defeating the Montreal Canadiens, they had constant updates right in front of them on their progress elsewhere in their bid for a berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Mikael Granlund had his first NHL two-goal game and Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves to give Minnesota a 4-1 win against Montreal at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Nino Niederreiter scored an unassisted goal and Erik Haula scored into an empty net with 1:39 remaining for Minnesota (32-27-10), which ended a two-game losing streak in the first of three road games against Eastern Conference teams. 

"It was nice, for sure, it's always nice to score goals, but I think those two points we got tonight, that's the most important thing and that's what we need to keep doing if we want to get to the playoffs," Granlund said.

Video: MIN@MTL: Dubnyk robs Markov twice in front

The Wild tied the Colorado Avalanche with 74 points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. Minnesota has played one less game than Colorado, which lost 3-2 at the Winnipeg Jets Saturday. 

"I heard. I wasn't watching at all during the game," Dubnyk said. "No, you have a peek up during the TV timeouts and stuff, and all obviously we can worry about is winning but to have that happen we're going to need some of that too down the stretch so that's nice to see." 

Dubnyk said that he couldn't help but see the out-of-town scores on the scoreboard in front of him that rings around the arena between section levels. 

"They had them continuously running on the thing," Dubnyk said. "I maybe saw it once or eight times." 

Mark Barberio scored and Mike Condon made 18 saves for Montreal (32-31-6), which was missing 11 players due to injury or illness, including P.K. Subban, who is day-to-day because of a neck injury he sustained Thursday. 

"They played hard. I thought we matched them," Condon said. "I thought we had a really good effort and tonight was a game of inches and they got what they needed, and we didn't."

Video: MIN@MTL: Niederreiter takes advantage of turnover

Condon made a costly mistake after he came well out of his net to play the puck on the play that led to the opening goal at 10:52 of the first period. 

Niederreiter intercepted Condon's pass to Canadiens left wing Jacob De La Rose on the left boards in the neutral zone at the blue line. 

"I saw (De La Rose), tried to make a play, didn't execute and guys are pretty fast in this League and I didn't get enough on it to get to him, so when you make a mistake like that it usually ends up in the back of your net," Condon said. 

And that's what happened as Niederreiter then shot into the net before the Montreal goalie could scramble back to his crease for his 15th goal of the season. 

"I read it pretty well and I think I got lucky with that too, and then you just have to think quick and try to put it in," Niederreiter said.

Video: MIN@MTL: Barberio chips rebound over Dubnyk

Barberio, who took Subban's spot to the right of defenseman Andrei Markov, tied the game at 1-1 with his second goal of the season at 12:13 of the first. 

Wild defenseman Matt Dumba carried the puck down the left side of the Canadiens' zone to the corner before putting a backhand pass through the goalmouth to set up Granlund's first goal at 13:20 of the first. Granlund snapped a shot past Condon into the right side of the net to set a new career-high with his ninth goal of the season to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead. 

"Good movement, really good movement," Wild coach John Torchetti said. "(Dumba) got a little bit wedged on the wall there but he stayed nice and poised there, kept under control with the puck and kept the possession, and we had good movement off of that." 

Granlund increased the lead to 3-1 at 11:49 of the second when he was left uncovered on the right side late during Minnesota's second power play. Condon put his glove over the puck after making a save on defenseman Marco Scandella's shot from the left point, but Wild left wing Thomas Vanek poked it free to Granlund, who fired into an open right side for his 10th goal of the season. 

"It was right there," Condon said. "I had my glove on it and I'm not sure who it was, he got his skate on it and got the puck loose, and obviously I didn't agree with it but I'm not the ref so that's how it goes." 

Wild forward Jason Pominville missed his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. 

Canadiens forward Lars Eller had the flu and forward Stefan Matteau missed the game because of a lower-body injury he sustained Thursday. 

Defenseman Darren Dietz made his NHL debut for Montreal.

Video: Granlund, Dubnyk lead Wild

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