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Wild 4, Canucks 3

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Just 20 games into his NHL career, rookie defenseman Kurtis Foster has become a fixture on the Minnesota Wild's blue line.

Foster had a goal and an assist to lead Minnesota to a 4-3 victory over Vancouver on Saturday night, the Wild's sixth victory in their last eight games.

Foster, recalled from Houston of the AHL on Nov. 17, scored his sixth goal of the season in the second period and set up Randy Robitaille's power-play goal in the third.

``Every shot he sends at the net, they're hard to catch because he shoots so hard,'' Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. ``He maybe thinks a little more offensively than most guys. It's good to have a defenseman like that.''

Todd White and Wes Walz also scored for Minnesota. The Wild had 37 shots on goal, their highest home total of the season. Matt Cooke, Sami Salo and Bryan Allen scored for the slumping Canucks, 1-3-3 in their last seven games.

``We did some good things, but we also took too many penalties,'' Canucks coach Marc Crawford said. ``We didn't adhere to the things we need to do for an entire 60 minutes.''

Manny Fernandez made 26 saves for the victory, and Maxime Ouellet stopped 33 saves in his second start of the season for Vancouver.

Cooke opened the scoring at 6:19 of the second period, backhanding a low shot between Fernandez's pads. The Wild tied it 21 seconds later, with White's low shot from inside the blue line sliding under Ouellet's right pad. Minnesota made it 2-1 34 seconds later when Walz poked in a loose puck.

The teams traded power play goals later in the period. Minnesota took a 3-1 lead when Foster scored on a 5-on-3 advantage at 10:56, and Salo beat Fernandez with a shot from the point with 12.9 seconds left in the period.

``For Minnesota, it's too many shots and too many chances,'' Allen said. ``Once they got some pressure in our end, it was tough to overcome.''

Robitaille made it 4-2 with a slap shot at 8:41 of the third period after Foster held the puck in at the blue line, then fed Robitaille a pass.

``He had tons of time and was able to pick a spot and hit it,'' Foster said. ``It seemed like point shots were going in for both teams.''

Allen completed the scoring on a power play at 10:30.

Notes: Canucks defenseman Ed Jovanovski missed his first game of the season. He injured a foot blocking a shot Wednesday night in the Canucks' 4-3 victory over Nashville. ... Minnesota had gone six straight home games without allowing a power-play goal. ... Allen left the game for 7 minutes in the second period after being bloodied when Filip Kuba's shot hit him in the face.

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