G Niklas Backstrom stopped all 33 saves he faced in his first shutout of the season, as Minnesota earned a 2-0 victory against San Jose Saturday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center. LW Zach Parise and D Jared Spurgeon scored for the Wild, while C Mikko Koivu and D Ryan Suter assisted on both goals. The Wild heads back on the road and visits Dallas Monday at 7:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3.
Today’s attendance of 19,358 was the second-largest regular-season crowd in franchise history. It was the Wild’s 11th straight sellout at Xcel Energy Center and 13th of the season.
Minnesota earned its fifth straight regulation victory – its longest stretch of regulation wins since Dec. 2-10, 2011. Prior to the Wild’s current five-game streak, it had never won more than three straight games by at least two goal margins. The Wild moved to 14-5-1 in its last 20 games overall. Minnesota moved to 11-3-1 on home ice this season, including a 7-1-1 stretch in its last nine contests at Xcel Energy Center.
G Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves to earn his first shutout since Feb. 19, 2012. He’s started 14 of the Wild’s last 15 games and moved to 13-3-1 with a 1.98 GAA and a .929 SV% in his last 17 games. Backstrom is now 9-3-1 on home ice this season, posting a 1.96 GAA and a .923 SV% in Saint Paul. He moved to 4-0-0 with a 1.51 GAA, .952 SV% and two shutouts in his last four games against San Jose.
D Ryan Suter netted two assists for his seventh multi-point game this season, as Minnesota moved to 6-0-1 when he records at least two points. He now has at least one point in 11 of his last 13 games, with 17 points (2-15=17) in that span. He leads Minnesota with 24 assists this season and is tied for the team lead with 26 points. In just 30 games, he already ranks fifth on the Wild all-time charts for most assists by a defenseman in a single-season.
C Mikko Koivu tallied two assists for his team-leading eighth multi-point game of the season. He remains tied for the Wild lead with 26 points (7-19=26) this season, including four points (1-3=4) in a three-game point streak. He is +7 over his last seven games.
LW Zach Parise scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season, ranking third on the Wild with 24 points in 30 games. He now has nine points (4-5=9) in his last eight games.
D Jared Spurgeon scored his third power-play goal of the season, setting a new career high. He has seven points (3-4=7) in his last 10 games and nine points (4-5=9) in 21 games this season.
Minnesota scored the opening goal for the ninth time in its last 10 games. The Wild moved to 12-4-0 when scoring first.
Backstrom stopped San Jose’s C Andrew Desjardins on a first-period penalty shot, moving to three saves against five attempts in his career. It was the first time the Wild has faced an opponent penalty shot since Josh Harding stopped Patrik Berglund in St. Louis on 2/8/12, as Minnesota moved to nine saves against 13 attempts all time.
The Wild went 1-for-4 on the power play and has now scored a power-play goal in 11 of its last 13 games. Minnesota is now 11-5-1 when scoring on the man advantage.
Minnesota moved to 5-0-0 while wearing its green jerseys this season.