ST. PAUL, Minn. - Kevin Bieksa's power-play goal and an early scuffle sparked Vancouver in the first period, and goalie Cory Schneider picked up his first career victory for the Canucks in a 2-1 decision over the Minnesota Wild on a fight-filled Friday night.
Vancouver's four-game losing streak ended, and Minnesota fell to 0-3 this season against its chief Northwest Division rival.
Jason Jaffray scored in the second period to give the Canucks the lead back after Mikko Koivu slammed a long rebound past Schneider just 27 seconds after the first intermission.
That was the only lapse by Schneider, Vancouver's first-round draft pick in 2004 who made his NHL debut earlier this month after stalwart Roberto Luongo strained a groin muscle in his left leg.
The Wild didn't challenge Schneider much, though, managing only one even-strength shot on net in the first period and committing 10 giveaways in the second period. They were outshot 31-17 for the game.
These teams have never had much appreciation for each other. Barely 20 seconds into the game, Minnesota's Brent Burns levelled Vancouver agitator Alex Burrows - who incited a brawl last March by spearing scrawny Wild centre Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Minnesota's James Sheppard and Canucks alternate captain Ryan Kesler mixed it up after the Burns-Burrows collision, and both drew five for fighting. The chirping and chipping didn't end, of course, all the way through the third period when Jaffray and Burns went at it and were stuck with major penalties while Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard and Darcy Hordichuk of the Canucks were ejected with game misconducts. Boogaard and former teammate Willie Mitchell frequently went at each other
The flying fists and bodies against the boards helped keep the home crowd entertained in spite of a lacklustre offensive effort by its team. Koivu extended his career-best point streak to seven games with his goal, but the Wild were hurting up front again.
Coming off an energetic 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, they took a step back in this one and wrapped up a stretch of eight out of nine games at home at 3-5. They started and finished with losses to the Canucks.
Notes: The Wild lost RW Owen Nolan to another lower-body injury in the first period. He did not return. Nolan missed eight of the first 24 games. ... Schneider led the AHL with a 10-1 record and 1.37 goals-against average at the time of his callup on Nov. 24, two days after Luongo's injury. ... Hordichuk returned after missing the previous two games with a broken foot.