G Anton Khudobin made 32 saves for his first shutout in his third career NHL start and C Matt Cullen
notched a shorthanded goal and an assist, as the Minnesota Wild handed the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks just their second regulation loss in 20 games, 4-0, in front of a sellout crowd of18,458 at Xcel Energy Center. LW Andrew Brunette, RW Martin Havlat and C John Madden had a goal apiece for Minnesota, which is the only NHL team to defeat Vancouver twice in regulation this season. The Wild begins a four-game road trip Tuesday at Edmonton.
G Anton Khudobin (WHO-doh-bin) made 32 saves in his third career start – second straight – for his first NHL shutout. Khudobin had allowed three goals on 17 shots in his season debut Friday against Colorado. Khudobin joined Josh Harding as the only Wild rookie netminders with a shutout. Harding did it three times, as he technically had three rookie seasons.
Vancouver lost in regulation for the second time in 20 games (15-2-3), with the only other blemish a 1-0 defeat at the New York Rangers on Jan. 13. Tonight marked Vancouver’s first loss by two or more goals since a 7-1 defeat to Chicago Nov. 20. The Canucks suffered their worst shutout loss since a 5-0 defeat at San Jose Dec. 23, 2008.
C Matt Cullen
scored his ninth goal this season – third shorthanded to tie for the league lead and also tie his career-high for SHG. He added an assist for his first multiple point game since Dec. 23 at Colorado. Cullen also tied a season-high at plus-three (Nov. 26 against Nashville).
LW Andrew Brunette scored his 11th goal of the year and second in as many games. This marks the first time this season Brunette has scored in back-to-back games this season. The Wild is 7-1-1 this season when Brunette scores a goal.
RW Martin Havlat scored an unassisted goal, his 11th of the season – seven off his total from last season. Havlat had been held without a point and was minus-4 in his last three games entering tonight.
Minnesota went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill against a Canucks power play unit that entered tonight clicking at 27.7% on the road – tops in the NHL.
Vancouver fell to 11-2-0 against the Northwest Division. The Canucks are 1-2-0 versus the Wild and 10-0-0 against the other three teams.
The Canucks dropped to 8-2-1 in their last 11 road games.
The Wild has won four straight home games against the Canucks for the second time in team history – the first with each win coming in regulation. Minnesota went 4-0-0 versus Vancouver with a shootout victory Dec. 31, 2005-Dec. 19, 2006.