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Owen gets goal, assist as Wild hang on for 2-1 win over Blue Jackets

NHL.com @NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Owen Nolan came off injured reserve to get an assist and his first goal for Minnesota, and the Wild hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Rick Nash's tip-in with 11.5 seconds remaining was waived off after a video review due to an apparent high stick.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored and Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves to help the Wild (5-0-1) remain the only Western Conference team without a loss in regulation.

Rostislav Klesla scored for the Blue Jackets for the first time in 43 games - his last goal was in January - after Michael Peca won a faceoff with 11:34 left in the third period to cut Minnesota's lead in half.

Columbus lost goalie Pascal Leclaire to an unspecified injury in the second period. He was replaced by Fredrik Norrena.

Nick Schultz was called for hooking with 3:35 remaining to give the Blue Jackets a late power play, but the Wild staved it off and improved to 19-for-19 on the penalty kill this season.

After the Wild nearly scored an empty-netter, the Blue Jackets brought the puck back the other way and Christian Backman fired a desperation shot from just inside the blue line. Nash was in perfect position about 15 feet from the goal, but he raised his stick to direct it past Backstrom and prompted the review.

Nolan missed the previous three games because of a leg injury. He took the place on the active roster of star Marian Gaborik, who has been out since Oct. 14 due to a lower-body injury.

The Wild led 1-0 at the second intermission, but that lead could have been larger.

They outshot the Blue Jackets 10-3 through the first 17 minutes; Andrew Brunette winced at one point after failing to cleanly control the puck in front of the crease and attempt a strong shot on Leclaire.

Nolan later fumbled a pass between the circles and was denied by a smooth kick save, but Bouchard came through with his first goal of the season on that same sequence with 26 seconds remaining in the opening frame after Marek Zidlicky tracked it down and fed Bouchard for his first assist with Minnesota.

Mikko Koivu notched his ninth assist midway through the third period with a nifty backhand pass near the post to set up Nolan in the slot against Norrena and make it 2-0. The Wild wasted a 3-1 edge over Buffalo with 4 minutes left on Thursday when the Sabres tied it in regulation and won in overtime, but Backstrom and the blue line were strong enough to survive Klesla's shot through traffic.

Through six games, Backstrom has given up only 12 goals. His best save was probably in the second period, when he stuck his left pad out to block a shot by Derick Brassard.

Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock was concerned about the chemistry of his top line, so he dropped R.J. Umberger to a wing on the third line and moved Manny Malhotra to the first group with Nash and Kristian Huselius.

Nash had a breakaway chance in the third period when Minnesota's Brent Burns committed a turnover on a power play, but Backstrom turned away that attempt.

Notes: The Blue Jackets have literally become a dangerous team to play. After one of their errant sticks accidentally hit Rangers coach Tom Renney in a 3-1 loss to New York the night before, a loose puck ricocheted over the Wild bench and appeared to strike team trainer Don Fuller. He left with a towel pressed against his head.

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