LW Zach Parise tallied the winning goal as Minnesota claimed a 3-1 victory over Carolina in front of 17, 668 fans Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. RW Nino Niederreiter opened the game’s scoring and LW Dany Heatley scored his first goal of the year with an empty-net marker. Next up, Minnesota visits Chicago Saturday at 7 p.m. on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM.
G Josh Harding left the game after stopping 20-of-21 shots through two periods of play. He moved to 4-0-0 in with a 0.82 GAA in Saint Paul this season – he is now 26-9-2 in career starts at Xcel Energy Center, including 19-4-1 since Jan. 27, 2010 and 8-1-0 in his last nine starts. Overall, he is 5-2-1 on the season with a 1.00 GAA and .953 SV%. He has allowed a total of one 5-on-5 goal in eight games this season (10/14 at BUF). He has also posted a .977 even strength SV% this season.
G Niklas Backstrom started the third period in relief of Harding, making seven saves. It was his first appearance since missing four games with a knee strain, suffered at Nashville Oct. 8.
LW Zach Parise extends his team lead to eight points after scoring his fifth goal of the season (5-3=8). The tally marked his first game winner of the season, and 42nd of his career.
RW Nino Niederreiter scored his second goal of the season - his first career power-play goal. He now has five points on the season (2-3=5).
Minnesota improved to 4-0-2 on home ice, and is now tied for the NHL lead with 10 points on home ice. Minnesota has also scored at least one power-play goal in eight of its 11 games this season.
The Wild has scored in the first period in eight of its 11 games this season, including tallying the game’s first goal in six of those eight contests.
D Ryan Suter skated 27:06 and has led every skater, both Wild and opponent, in ice time during all 11 games this season. He assisted on Parise’s game-winning goal for his fifth helper of the season.
RW Alexander Semin scored for Carolina in the second period with a power-play goal as one second remained on Heatley’s slashing penalty. Carolina G Cam Ward stopped all five shots he faced before suffering a lower-body injury at 4:07 of the first period. G Justin Peters came into relief stopping 19-of-21 shots. Carolina Captain Eric Staal skated in his 700th career game tonight.