ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Manny Malhotra had a goal and an assist, Cory Schneider stopped 27 shots and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Jannik Hansen, Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kessler also scored to help the banged-up Canucks win in Minnesota for the first time in their last five tries despite registering just one shot on goal in the third period.
Fighting to stay in a crowded Western Conference playoff race, the Wild lost for only the third time in 12 games despite outshooting the Canucks 28-14.
Cal Clutterbuck scored for Minnesota, his fourth goal in three games.
The Canucks hold a comfortable lead in the West despite a rash of injuries to their defensemen. Andrew Alberts was the latest to go down when he broke his wrist in Monday’s loss to St. Louis.
Four Vancouver defenders have been injured in the last week, which made Schneider’s performance even more impressive.
Regular goalie Roberto Luongo has failed to finish the last three games against the Wild, all lopsided losses. Schneider took his place Tuesday and turned away flurries by the Wild to start the game, and again early in the third period.
The Wild did just about everything right besides figure out Schneider. John Madden was turned away on a partial breakaway midway through the third and Clutterbuck had a shot ring off the crossbar in the second.
Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom lost for the third time in his last eight games.
Malhotra beat Backstrom in the first by deflecting Sami Salvo’s slap shot. The goal stood after a review to make sure Malhotra’s stick was not above the crossbar.
Hansen’s backhander got past a sprawling Backstrom midway through the second and Samuelsson scored with 19 seconds remaining in the period.
Kessler’s goal late in the third was an empty-netter and was the Canucks’ first shot on goal in the period.
Recording just one shot in the third period is not the ideal way to win, but the Canucks will take any win they can get in Minnesota at this point. The Wild had outscored Vancouver 21-6 in the previous five games at the Xcel Energy Center.
NOTES: The Canucks called up 20-year-old Yann Suave to replace Alberts. … Wild D Marek Zidlicky, out since Dec. 29 with a shoulder injury, is improving and might return in time for Sunday’s game against Detroit. … The game was stopped briefly in the first period to repair the glass after a check by Clutterbuck.
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