LW Guillaume Latendresse
’s second goal of the game capped a three-goal third period, D Shane Hnidy and D Kim Johnsson also scored in the crucial stanza, and G Niklas Backstrom
made 15 saves, as the Minnesota Wild set a new team record with its ninth December victory, 4-3 over the St. Louis Blues in front of 18,554 at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota, 12-4-0 in its last 16 games, begins a two-game California trip in Los Angeles on Monday.
The Wild improved to 9-4-0 in December, establishing a new team record for victories in December. Minnesota, which still has three games left in December, totaled eight wins in December 2005 (8-7-1). The most wins the Wild has ever recorded in one month was 10 in March 2007 (10-3-2).
LW Guillaume Latendresse
scored two goals – giving him three in two games since missing two games with the flu. Latendresse has four goals in his last four games played and seven points (6-1=7) in 13 games since being acquired in a trade with Montreal. The Wild improved to 11-2-0 in games Latendresse plays. Latendresse has nine points (7-2=9) in 35 combined games with Minnesota and Montreal this season. Latendresse registered his seventh career two-goal game – first since March 19, 2009, at Ottawa.
D Kim Johnsson scored his third goal of the season – first since Nov. 12 in Tampa Bay – one more than he had in 81 games in 2008-09.
D Shane Hnidy scored his second goal of the season – the other coming Dec. 12 in Vancouver.
D Marek Zidlicky posted his fourth two-assist game this season. Zidlicky leads Wild defensemen in assists (18) and points (21).
D Greg Zanon recorded an assist – his sixth of the season. That is one off his career-high, set in 2008-09. Zanon has eight points (2-6=8), three of his career-high of 11 (4-7=11), also set last season.
G Niklas Backstrom
made 15 saves, improving to 7-1-1 in his last nine games at home.
The Wild’s penalty kill was a perfect 4-for-4 and hasn’t allowed a goal in the last six games (18 chances) since Vancouver went 3-for-5 Dec. 12.
Minnesota scored first for just the fifth time in the last 19 games. However, the Wild has scored first in back-to-back games for the first time since a four-game stretch Nov. 7-13. The Wild is 10-3-1 when scoring first.
The Wild improved to 2-2-3 all-time in seven day-after-Christmas games, including a 1-0-1 home mark.
Minnesota has played in 24 one-goal games this season to lead the NHL (14-7-3), and its 14th victory tonight ties Pittsburgh for the most one-goal wins. St. Louis suffered just its second regulation loss (8-2-5) in one-goal games.
The Wild had lost its last three games against St. Louis by a combined 12-6 score since a 4-0 win in St. Paul on Dec. 3, 2008.
Nine of the Wild’s last 11 home games have been decided by one goal. Minnesota is 6-2-1 in those games. Fourteen of the Wild’s 17 home games this season have been decided by one goal (10-3-1).