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Wild score four power-play goals in 4-0 win over Coyotes

NHL.com @NHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots for his second shutout of the season, and the Minnesota Wild scored four power-play goals to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-0 on Thursday night.

Marek Zidlicky scored twice and had an assist for Minnesota, which defeated the Coyotes for the ninth straight time. Eric Belanger and Andrew Brunette also scored, and Marc-Andre Bergeron had two assists.

Backstrom, who beat Tampa Bay 1-0 on Oct. 18, is 8-0 against the Coyotes with a 1.13 goals-against average and three shutouts.

Phoenix, which had won three straight, was shut out for the second time in five games.

The Coyotes rarely tested Backstrom because the Wild defence kept them away from the crease. Phoenix often settled for wrist shots from above the dots and failed to get to rebounds.

After a scoreless first period, Minnesota scored two power-goals in the second. The Wild, 1-for-21 with a man advantage in its previous five games, finished 4-for-7.

A one-timer from Zidlicky in the high slot beat Ilya Bryzgalov on the stick side during a two-man advantage early in the period. It was his first goal in 29 games.

Brunette's goal came 12 minutes later when he took a touch pass from Zidlicky in the left circle and beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot. Bryzgalov is 0-6 against Minnesota.

Zidlicky's 5-on-3 goal was set up when Brent Burns took a slash from Garth Murray as he closed in on the Phoenix net.

In his return after a four-game absence due to an upper body injury, Burns - a defenceman - moved up to play with Brunette and Belanger in try to add offensive punch to a Wild lineup that had eight goals in five games.

Owen Nolan also returned to the Minnesota lineup after missing five games with an upper body injury. He skated with Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mikko Koivu. Nolan just missed on a first-period tip, and his rebound attempt was just wide as he tried to lift a backhander over the fallen Bryzgalov in the second period.

Belanger scored early in the third, converting a perfect cross-crease pass from Nolan. Zidlicky beat Bryzgalov with a slap shot with 1:07 to play.

Phoenix was 0-for-6 on the power play, and is 2-for-28 in its past five games.

Notes: Backstrom is 43-0-3 when leading after two periods. ... To make room for Nolan, Krys Kolanos was reassigned to AHL Houston. Kolanos had one goal in two games following his Nov. 3 recall. ... Phoenix D Derek Morris played his 200th consecutive game.

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