C Kyle Brodziak
tallied a goal and two assists, C Matt Cullen
moved into a tie for the NHL lead with his fourth shorthanded goal, C Eric Nystrom snapped a 41-game goal drought and G Niklas Backstrom
made 29 saves, as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,967 at Xcel Energy Center. C Mikko Koivu
and RW Martin Havlat added a goal each and RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard
supplied two assists for Minnesota, which hosts Detroit in a televised game on NBC on Sunday at a special 11:30 a.m. gametime. The Wild (31-22-5) moved one point back of Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles and Calgary, which are tied for the sixth through ninth spots in the Western Conference.
C Kyle Brodziak
scored his 12th goal of the season and added two assists for his third career three-point game. He leads Minnesota in points (3-11=14) during the Wild’s current 10-4-0 stretch.
LW Eric Nystrom scored his first goal in 42 games, since Nov. 14 at Tampa Bay. This marked his second goal this season – his first career PPG.
C Matt Cullen
scored his 11th goal of the season. Cullen’s shorthanded tally moved him into a tie for first place in the NHL with four. Cullen also has five power play goals, and two even strength goals.
C Mikko Koivu
scored his 15th goal of the season – first in 10 games since Jan. 22 at San Jose. Koivu, who has missed just five games in the last three seasons, left the game in the first period with an upper body injury.
The Wild has won five straight home games vs. the Ducks and 11 of its past 13, holding the Ducks to one goal or less seven times.
Minnesota is 8-5-2 against the Pacific Division this season and has already claimed more victories against the Pacific than it did all last year (5-14-1).
The Wild improved to 6-20-1 when allowing the first goal.
Minnesota is 10-4-0 in its last 14 games overall, and 5-1-0 in its last six home games.
The Wild went 2-for-4 on the power play and has a PPG in four straight games (5-for-17, 19.4 percent).
Anaheim has lost two in a row after winning four straight.