The Wild used two first-period goals en route to a 2-0 victory versus Chicago Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center in front of a sellout crowd of 19,226 fans – largest crowd of the season and 12th-largest regular season crowd in Wild history. RW Jason Pominville and LW Matt Cooke scored for Minnesota, while G Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves in the win. Next up, the Wild hits the road for four games, visiting San Jose first on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM.
Minnesota moved to 8-3-0 in 2014. The Wild is now 19-7-2 in Saint Paul this season, winning 15 of its last 21 games and 19 of its last 26 contests on home ice.
Chicago suffered its ninth regulation loss of the season – the third at the hands of the Wild. No other NHL team has more than one regulation win against Chicago this season.
G Darcy Kuemper stopped 33-of-34 shots he faced to earn the win. He made his sixth consecutive start and, since being recalled from Iowa (AHL) Jan. 2, has posted a 5-2-0 record with a 1.68 GAA, .945 SV% and one shutout.
RW Jason Pominville scored his 20th goal of the season to open the game’s scoring, and has now hit the milestone in seven of his nine NHL seasons. He becomes the 15th Wild player in team history to score 20 goals in a season – the 25th time the feat has been accomplished. His 20 goals lead the Wild and rank T-18th in the NHL, and he also leads Minnesota with five points (4-1=5) in four games against Chicago this season. He sits at 499 NHL career points (209-290=499).
C Kyle Brodziak recorded his 200th NHL career point with an assist on Cooke’s goal. In 2014, Brodziak has six points (2-4=6) and a plus-6 rating in the Wild’s 11 games.
LW Matt Cooke scored the Wild’s second goal of the night. He has nine points in his last 14 games (2-7=9), ranks sixth on the Wild with 21 points in 53 games this season (7-14=21) and is tied for the team lead with a plus-10 rating
C Mikael Granlund assisted on Pominville’s goal, and has now totaled four assists in three games against the Blackhawks this season. He has tallied a point in nine of his last 16 games (1-8=9) and has 21 points in 40 games this season (3-18=21).
LW Dany Heatley assisted on Pominville’s goal and now has six points (1-5=6) and a plus-4 rating in his last seven games.
RW Justin Fontaine has 10 points (6-4=10) in his last 15 games after adding an assist on Cooke’s goal. He’s totaled 18 points in 46 games this season (12-6=18) and is also tied for the team lead with a plus-10 rating.
D Jonas Brodin recorded a career-high five blocked shots to lead all players.
LW Zach Parise returned to the lineup after missing the last 14 games with a foot contusion.
D Nate Prosser skated in his 100th NHL career game.
Minnesota scored at least two, first-period goals for the seventh time this season and accomplished the feat at Xcel Energy Center for the first time since Nov. 15 versus Florida.
RW Patrick Kane scored for Chicago, while G Antti Raanta made 17 saves for the Blackhawks.