C Kyle Brodziak
scored twice, and LW Dany Heatley
and RW Casey Wellman also scored as G Martin Brodeur had the second shortest start of his 1,145-game career, as the Minnesota Wild defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2 at Xcel Energy Center. G Josh Harding
was perfect in relief making 22 saves over two periods for Minnesota, which won its third straight and moved back into the top spot in the NHL at 35 points. The Wild, which has a season-high six-point lead in the Northwest Division, begins a five-game road trip Sunday in Anaheim at 7 p.m. (CT).
C Kyle Brodziak
tallied his seventh and eighth goals of the season – halfway to his career-high of 16, set last season. He has a goal in back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 14-March 3, 2010 (first game before and after Olympic Break). Brodziak recorded his eighth career two-goal games.
RW Dany Heatley
scored his seventh goal of the season. Five of those tallies have been the Wild’s first goal. Heatley’s goal came just 20 seconds after LW Zach Parise had given the Devils a 1-0 lead.
RW Casey Wellman scored his first goal in two games this season, and his third goal in 29 career games with the Wild.
G Josh Harding
made 22 saves in two periods of relief. He is 6-2-1 with a 1.97 GAA and a .937 SV% this season. G Niklas Backstrom
made seven saves on nine shots in one period and was credited with the victory.
C Mikko Koivu
had his seven-game point streak snapped. That had tied his career-high and was tied for the longest point streak in the NHL this season.
C Martin Brodeur allowed three goals on four shots in 8:17, the second shortest outing of his career. He lasted 8:00 on Jan. 1, 2011, at Carolina, yielding three goals. Brodeur lost in regulation against the Wild for just the second time in his career (7-2-2), with the other time coming March 4, 2003. He had been 4-0-1 since.
The Wild scored three goals in the first period for the second time this season (Nov. 13 at Anaheim).
The Wild won for the 10th time (10-6-0) when allowing the game’s first goal – most in the NHL. The Wild won eight times (8-31-4) in the entire 2010-11 season when yielding the game’s first goal. Since the lockout, only four teams have had a winning record when trailing after the first. (DET/NSH 2005-06, BOS 2008-09, WSH 2010-11).
Minnesota is 16-1-0 when allowing two goals or fewer, and 0-6-3 when yielding three or more.