RW Radim Vrbata scored twice, including an empty-net, power-play goal with 23 seconds left in regulation to lead Phoenix to a 3-1 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 18,265 fans Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center. G Niklas Backstrom stopped 23-of-25 shots for the Wild, while LW Dany Heatley scored for Minnesota. Next up, Minnesota hosts Colorado for a special 5 p.m. start Friday on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3.
The Wild moved to 10-2-2 on home ice this season, ending its run of six straight wins in Saint Paul. The Wild moved to 9-3-1 in November and 15-7-4 this season.
LW Dany Heatley got Minnesota on the board with his fifth goal of the season, his third marker and fourth point in the last five games. He’s totaled eight points (5-3=8) in 26 games this season. He recorded four shots on the night, matching his season high.
RW Nino Niederreiter netted the primary assist on Heatley’s goal. He has three points (2-1=3) in his last five games, nine points (3-6=9) in his last 12 contests and 14 points (5-9=14) in 26 games this season.
C Kyle Brodziak netted his fifth assist and seventh point this season on Heatley’s goal.
Minnesota dropped consecutive games in regulation for just the second time this season.
RW Radim Vrbata scored twice for Phoenix, while LW Mikkel Boedker also scored and G Thomas Greiss made 28 saves in net for Phoenix.
A number of Wild players returned to the lineup after missing recent games due to injury: D Keith Ballard returned after missing nine games with an upper-body injury and LW Torrey Mitchell three games with a lower-body injury. G Josh Harding returned to serve as a backup goalie after missing two games with a lower-body injury, while C Mikael Granlund returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury, but skated just 29 seconds after finishing a check and leaving the game.