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Virtanen, Nilsson help Canucks shut out Wild

Forward scores only goal, goalie makes 29 saves

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jake Virtanen scored, and Anders Nilsson made 29 saves for the Vancouver Canucks in a 1-0 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Virtanen scored at 10:07 of the third period. He has three points (two goals, one assist) in a three-game point streak.

"I think if anyone got that goal, that's a big goal," Virtanen said. "It's a good end to the road trip for us, and we're going to bring that momentum back home."

 

[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Wild highlights]

 

It was Nilsson's second shutout of the season. He made 32 saves in a 3-0 win against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 17. 

"I felt good tonight, but tonight was a huge team victory," Nilsson said. "I think the guys in front of me, they probably blocked more shots than I made saves tonight, so it was real easy to play goal tonight, and it was fun to see the guys in front of you, how much they battled, how many shots they blocked. So, yeah, huge team victory and important two points for us."

The Canucks (5-3-1) extend their winning streak to three games and went 4-1-0 on their road trip.

"You've got to win games different ways," Canucks coach Travis Green said. "This is a good Minnesota team, their structure is good. It's hard to get scoring chances against them, and we knew that going in, that we'd have to play a 60-minute game if we wanted to win. And we did.

"At the end of a trip, it was a hard-fought win. We didn't have the best first period, but I like how we stuck with it. I thought we had a real good second period and found a way to win it in the third."

Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves for the Wild (2-3-2), who began a six-game homestand after playing five of their first six on the road.

"I'm just disappointed that we lost, whether it's the home or the road," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You love to win at home in front of your fans. I would've been just as disappointed to start a road trip with a loss. No matter if it's home or away, when you lose, you're not happy."

Video: VAN@MIN: Nilsson stones Zucker's wraparound

 

Goal of the game

Virtanen picked off Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the neutral zone and took a shot that was blocked by Dubnyk before scoring on the rebound.

"When you can get a rebound or follow up a shot, we'll take those any day," Virtanen said.

Video: VAN@MIN: Virtanen rips wrister to break scoreless tie

 
Save of the game

Nilsson pulled up for a save on Wild forward Joel Eriksson Ek, who was on the doorstep at 13:20 of the third period.

 

Highlight of the game

Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev blocked a shot by Wild forward Mikael Granlund with 15 seconds remaining in the third period.

 

They said it

"He either pitches a shutout or gets out of there in 10 minutes. I'm happy for him. He played a great game in Ottawa, and even though we pulled him in the Boston [Bruins game, a 6-3 loss Thursday], I didn't think he had a lot of chance on any of those goals. You always wonder where a guy's psyche is at when he goes back in net, but obviously I didn't have to worry." -- Canucks coach Travis Green on Anders Nilsson

 

"We let them off the hook too many times. I don't think that's anywhere near the pace and the way we want to play. It's something we've got to fix." -- Wild forward Jason Zucker

 

Need to know

Canucks defenseman Michael Del Zotto blocked six shots. Vancouver blocked 18. … Minnesota forward Justin Kloos played 8:39 in his NHL debut. … Granlund had one shot and four attempts blocked playing 18:49 after missing five games with a groin injury. 

 

What's next 

Wild: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Canucks: Host the Washington Capitals on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Nilsson, Virtanen help Canucks blank Wild, 1-0

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