LW Guillaume Latendresse
broke a tie in the third period and assisted on Minnesota’s three other goals, G Niklas Backstrom
made 35 saves to tie the Wild’s team record for career wins, and C Eric Belanger and D Nick Schultz each joined the 100-point plateau with Minnesota, as the Wild edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in front of 19,044 – the fifth-largest regular season crowd ever at Xcel Energy Center. Belanger posted a goal and an assist, RW Martin Havlat scored a goal to extend his point streak to eight games and RW Cal Clutterbuck
added a goal as the Wild earned its third straight victory overall and a season sweep of the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins. The Wild closes out a four-game homestand by hosting Vancouver on Wednesday for a special 6 p.m. start.
LW Guillaume Latendresse
set career-highs in assists (three) and points (four), registering a goal and three helpers. He pushed his point streak to four games (4-4=8), tying his career-high, set most recently from Oct. 11-18, 2008 (1-5=6). Latendresse has 15 points (10-5=15) in 21 games with Minnesota, after recording three points (2-1=3) in 23 games with Montreal this season. Latendresse recorded the 22nd 4-point game in Wild history – the 12th individual player to accomplish the feat – and the first since Marian Gaborik on March 25, 2009, at the N.Y. Islanders. Since Dec. 15, Latendresse leads the NHL with eight even-strength goals. The Wild is 15-6-0 with Latendresse in the lineup, and 8-1-0 when he has a point.
G Niklas Backstrom
made 35 saves to register his 113th career win, tying him with Manny Fernandez for the most wins in Wild history. Backstrom earned his 113th win in his 208th game; it took Fernandez 260 to reach that plateau. Backstrom, who didn’t finish Saturday’s game against Chicago, is 14-2-4 with a 1.99 GAA and a .929 SV% in 20 career starts after getting pulled. He is 10-0-1 with a 1.70 GAA and a .942 SV% in his last 11 starts after not finishing a game.
RW Martin Havlat scored his eighth goal of the season, extending his point streak to eight games (2-7=9). That’s the Wild’s longest point streak since Mark Parrish from Dec. 27, 2007-Jan. 11, 2008. Havlat is one off his career-high nine-game point streak, set with Chicago from Feb. 14-March 3, 2009. Havlat has points in 14 of his last 16 games since Dec. 11, with 18 points (6-12=18) in that span.
C Eric Belanger scored his 12th goal of the season and added an assist become the 14th player in team history to reach 100 points with the team (38-62=100). Belanger, in his third season with the Wild, also extended his point streak to three games (3-2=5). Belanger has 11 points (6-5=11) in his last 10 games, and is five goals off his career-high, set in 2005-06 and matched in 2006-07. Belanger has 27 points (12-15=27), 10 off his career-high, set in 2005-06 and matched in 2007-08. The Wild improved to 27-7-1 when Belanger scores a goal, since he joined the team at the beginning of the 2006-07 season.
D Nick Schultz, the Wild’s all-time games played leader with 573, registered his 100th career point (22-78=100), becoming the 15th player in team history to reach that mark.
C Kyle Brodziak
had an assist, and now has a new career-high four-game point streak (1-4=5).
Minnesota has allowed the first goal in 20 of the team’s last 27 games. The Wild improved to 12-16-2 when allowing the game’s first goal. No other NHL team has more than 11 wins in that situation. The Wild has trailed at some point in 14 of its 23 wins.
The Wild leads the NHL in one-goal wins (17-7-3) and equaled Montreal, playing its 27th one-goal game. Minnesota had 19, one-goal wins in the 2008-09 season.
Minnesota, 2-0-0 against Pittsburgh this season, joined New Jersey (4-0-0) as the lone teams with more than one victory against the Penguins in 2009-10.
C Sidney Crosby recorded three points (2-1=3) for Pittsburgh and has a hand in all seven goals the Penguins have scored (2-5=7) in his two career games at Xcel Energy Center.