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Sven Baertschi lifts Canucks past Wild

Scores game-winner late in third period in return from injury

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two games with a lower-body injury, and he picked up right where he left off.

Baertschi scored the game-winning goal with 2:35 left in a high-scoring third period, and the Canucks defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-4 at Rogers Arena.

"Pucks are going in as of late," said Baertschi, who had an NHL career-high three points against the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 23 before he was injured blocking a shot late in the third period.

 

WATCH: All Wild vs. Canucks highlights

 

Baertschi didn't score a goal in the first 13 games, and he had only one in his first 19 before he had a goal and two assists against the Coyotes. He scored the game-winner against Minnesota when he deflected rookie defenseman Troy Stecher's slap pass from the point between goalie Darcy Kuemper's legs.

Brandon Sutter, Ben Hutton, Loui Eriksson and Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks (10-11-2).

Horvat, who is center on Baertschi's line, has three goals and four assists during a five-game point, and leads the Canucks with nine goals and 16 points.

"Our line's been really consistent," Baertschi said. "The chemistry is coming along and starting to create more and more. Now the goals are coming. It's exciting for us."

Eriksson and Horvat scored 59 seconds apart early in the third period to put the Canucks ahead 4-2, but Jason Zucker scored on a breakaway 1:12 after Horvat's goal to make it 4-3, and Erik Haula tied it 4-4 with 5:49 left.

Video: MIN@VAN: Horvat pads lead with nice deflection

But Baertschi put the Canucks ahead to stay a little more than three minutes later, giving Vancouver (10-11-2) consecutive victories for the first time since it won the first four games of the season.

"This team needs to harness its emotion the right way," said Canucks goalie Ryan Miller, who made 38 saves. "We can't get into the 'here we go again' mentality, because this kind of proves the bounces can go our way too."

Jason Pominville scored his second goal of the game 3:24 into the second period to put Minnesota ahead 2-0, but Sutter and Hutton scored power-play goals 1:59 apart midway through the period to tie it 2-2.

"Goals and tips, weird bounces, it was not a fun one," said Kuemper, who made 30 saves.

The Wild (11-8-3), who have allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (46), lost in regulation for the first time in five games.

"We got the 2-0, and it was like we were going to think this was going to be an easy game," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We didn't give poor [Kuemper] any help in the third."

Video: MIN@VAN: Sutter redirects Stecher's blast for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Baertschi's winner came after a nice play by Stecher to pull the puck with him along the blue line looking for a shot before making a slap pass to Baertschi in the right slot.

Video: MIN@VAN: Baertschi tips in go-ahead goal late in 3rd

 

Save of the game

Kuemper got his right pad on Michael Chaput's backhand with 6:07 left in the third period after he got behind the Canucks defense, and Haula tied the game 18 seconds later.

 

Unsung moment of the game

Daniel Sedin made a slap pass to set up Henrik Sedin for a redirection attempt in the slot, but Wild defenseman Matt Dumba blocked the tip in front, and Pominville scored on the ensuing rush the other way to make it 2-0.

Video: MIN@VAN: Pominville blasts in second goal to pad lead

 

Highlight of the game

Zucker blocked Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson's shot at the blue line and skated in alone at the other end before beating Miller with a nice deke and high backhand to get the Wild back to within a goal in the third period.

Video: MIN@VAN: Zucker buries backhander on breakaway

 

They said it

"It was horrible. I don't know why. ... It was like we were saying, 'Let's see how many points we can get,' instead of playing the game the way it's supposed to be played. We don't have any right to be able to play like that." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on their play in their own end

 

"It's been tough: win one, lose one, win one. Hopefully, we can continue to roll with it and get on a nice little streak here." -- Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton on finally getting consecutive victories after 11 games of alternating wins and losses

 

Video: MIN@VAN: Hutton cashes in on loose puck in front

 

Need to know

Minnesota defenseman Gustav Olofsson, who was selected with the No. 46 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, played his first game of the season and third in the NHL. He was in the lineup in place of defenseman Nate Prosser, who was a healthy scratch. … With No. 1 defenseman Alexander Edler out 4-6 weeks after surgery to repair a fractured finger, the Canucks recalled defenseman Alex Biega from a conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League, but he didn't play against the Wild. … Stecher had two assists for the first multipoint game of his NHL career.

 

What's next

Wild: At the Calgary Flames on Friday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-WI, FS-N+, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; SN360, KCOP-13, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Baertschi lifts Canucks past Wild, 5-4

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