Minnesota scored three second-period goals en route to a 4-1 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 18,229 fans Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. D Marco Scandella, RW Jason Pominville, LW Jason Zucker and C Kyle Brodziak scored for the Wild. Next up, Minnesota concludes its four-game homestand with the Washington Capitals Saturday at 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM.
The Wild moved to 15-5-2 in Saint Paul. The Wild has won 11 of its last 15 games and 15 of its last 20 contests on home ice.
RW Jason Pominville scored his second goal in as many games against his former team this season – both counting as the game-winning goals. He leads the Wild with 18 goals this season , T-11th amongst all NHL players and 29 points this season, including 12 points (5-7=12) in his last 16 games.
D Marco Scandella opened the game’s scoring with his second goal of the season. He has 11 points (2-9=11) in 40 games this season, just shy of his career high 12 points (3-9=12) in 63 games in 2011-12.
D Ryan Suter earned his third multi-point game of the season and his 51st career after netting two helpers tonight. He has four points (2-2=4) in a three game point streak, 11 points (2-9=11) in his last 12 games, and 26 points (2-24=26) in 43 games this season. His 24 assists rank T-3rd amongst all NHL defensemen this season.
After being recalled from Iowa (AHL) yesterday, LW Jason Zucker earned his first point in eight games this season with the Wild’s third goal of the night.
C Mikko Koivu tallied two assists on the night, earning his 100th career multi-point game. He now has six points (1-5=6) in a four-game point streak. The Wild captain leads Minnesota in points and assists (8-25=33) in 43 games this season.
G Niklas Backstrom made 19 saves to earn his third win of the season. It marked his first victory since a shootout win in Winnipeg Nov. 23 and first regulation win since Oct. 26 at Chicago.
RW Nino Niederreiter recorded his 20th point of the season (7-13=20) with an assist on Zucker’s goal.
RW Justin Fontaine earned an assist on Scandella’s goal and has 12 points (8-4=12) in 37 games during his rookie season, including four points (2-2=4) in his last six games.
C Mikael Granlund assisted on Zucker’s goal and has four points (1-3=4) in his last six games, recording 16 points (3-13=16) in 30 games this season.
LW Matt Cooke assisted on Scandella’s goal and has three helpers in his last four games. He has 15 points (5-10=15) in 43 games during his first season with Minnesota.
C Kyle Brodziak scored an empty-net goal and now has 11 points (3-8=11) this season.
Minnesota outshot Buffalo 31-20, including 23-13 after the first period.