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game recap

Wild fall to Canucks but clinch playoff berth

Minnesota loses for ninth time in 11 games

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild lost 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday but clinched a Stanley Cup Playoff berth from the Western Conference.

"That was embarrassing. I'm embarrassed," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "To me, if I were the fans I would be booing even more because they pay good money for this, and to see an effort like that. …I've been here when we've been losing and I haven't said anything too negative about the team, but I mean, if you can't compete 1-on-1, if you don't have the emotion to want to get out there and do the right things, let alone the things the coaches are telling you, I'm telling you, if this was earlier in the year, changes would be made."

 

WATCH: All Canucks vs. Wild highlights

 

Despite the loss, Minnesota's ninth in its past 11 games, the Wild (44-24-6) qualified for the postseason when the Los Angeles Kings lost 3-0 to the New York Rangers later Saturday.

Minnesota trails the Chicago Blackhawks by eight points for first place in the Central Division and conference with one game in hand.

After a 4-1 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, the Canucks (30-35-9), who have two wins in nine games (2-5-2), were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Vancouver's two wins in those games were against the Central Division's top two teams, Chicago and Minnesota.

"Both those teams are good teams and they can come at you hard," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "On both nights, we were pretty optimistic. We haven't scored that easy all year and we had some things going in for us those two games."

Video: VAN@MIN: Staal beats Bachman after fortuitous bounce

Vancouver scored all of its goals in the second period. Reid Boucher scored on the power play 19 seconds in to make it 1-0. Boucher scored his second of the game and sixth of the season at 5:40 to make it 2-0 with a shot that hit the camera in the back of the net and bounced out. A video review determined it was a good goal.

Brock Boeser scored in his NHL debut at 11:51 to make it 3-0. Boeser, a Burnsville, Minnesota, native, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Canucks on Saturday after he and the University of North Dakota were eliminated from the NCAA tournament on Friday.

"Yeah, it's been crazy," Boeser said. "Obviously a heartbreak loss there with my North Dakota team but, you know, I had to regroup there and focus on this game. I definitely think adrenaline kicked in here for this whole game. … It's a dream come true."

Jack Skille scored at 13:37 to increase the lead 4-0.

Ryan Suter scored at 17:19 of the third period to ruin the shutout for Richard Bachman. Eric Staal scored at 18:45. Staal has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past nine games.

Bachman made 25 saves for the Canucks in his third start of the season.

Darcy Kuemper made 17 saves for MInnesota in his first start since March 10.

"You try to dig in and make the next save and do everything you can to battle through it and get the momentum turned back around," Kuemper said. "We didn't really do that."

 

Goal of the game

Boucher settled a bouncing puck and slid it past an outstretched Kuemper for the first goal of the game.

Video: VAN@MIN: Boucher slips a power-play goal past Kuemper

 

Save of the game

Bachman stopped Zach Parise from scoring with a pad save at 15:42 of the first period.

 

Unsung performance of the game

Bo Horvat skated toward Kuemper on a breakaway setting up the rebound goal for Boeser's second goal. Horvat also assisted on Boucher's first goal for a two-point game.

Video: VAN@MIN: Boucher rattles the post for his second goal

 

Highlight of the game

Boeser picked up the loose puck after an initial save by Kuemper and tapped it to the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal.

Video: VAN@MIN: Boeser scores in impressive NHL debut

 

They said it

"There's a lot of guys I'm disappointed in right now. I'm not going to mention names. They might be disappointed in me, I don't know. But I know one thing: We're not going to use fatigue as an excuse anymore. I don't care if we play four nights in a row, we're going to be practicing hard when we start practicing again. … See how bad they want to get out of it. Because talking to them and being nice isn't the way right now." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 

"I thought our defense played a great game. I thought our defense played one of their best games of the year. I thought [Ben] Hutton got us out of trouble a couple times, I thought [Nikita] Tryamkin did. I thought they battled hard. Minnesota's a good team and I thought it was our 'D' that made the difference tonight. And Bachman, I thought he was solid." -- Canucks coach Willie Desjardins

 

Need to know

Skille left the game at 16:27 of the second period with an ankle injury. Desjardins said he doesn't expect him to return to the lineup for a while. …Wild defenseman Christian Folin returned after missing 10 games with an upper-body injury. … Minnesota forward Ryan White returned after missing two games with the flu.

 

What's next

Wild: At the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, NHL.TV)

Canucks: At the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; SN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Boucher, Boeser, Bachman lift Canucks to win vs. Wild

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