ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Oscar Lindberg had a goal and an assist, Antti Raanta made 25 saves and the New York Rangers held on to beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Saturday night.
Brady Skjei and Jimmy Vesey also scored for the Rangers, who are 7-1 in their last eight road games and have a league-high 26 victories away from home this season.
Eric Staal and Matt Dumba scored for the Wild, who lost for the seventh time in their last nine games. Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves.
Minnesota struck first when Staal, a former Ranger, beat Raanta from the slot just after a penalty on New York had expired. Martin Hanzal dug a loose puck out of the corner and fired it to Staal, who was all alone and beat Raanta high with a wrist shot for his 24th goal.
Skjei tied it with four minutes left in the first period when he beat Dubnyk with a blast from just above the right circle. Mats Zuccarello fed the puck from the left point across the ice to Skjei, and Dubnyk didn’t get across in time to stop Skjei’s one-timer, which bounced in off the tip of Dubnyk’s skate.
Lindberg put the Rangers on top 2-1 midway through the second period. J.T. Miller chased a puck into the corner to Dubnyk’s right and flicked a blind pass to the goalmouth, where Lindberg was waiting to bury it for his sixth goal.
Vesey made it 3-1 with 2:26 left in the second period when he corralled a rebound of a shot by Lindberg and tucked it behind Dubnyk for his 15th.
Dumba scored on the power play to cut New York’s lead to 3-2 at 4:51 of the third. Raanta stopped Zach Parise’s shot in front of the net, but the rebound trickled out to his right and Dumba, pinching in from the point, pounced on it.
The Wild recently completed a 1-4 road trip in which they scored just six goals in their four losses. Minnesota’s lead over Chicago in the Central Division had been as large as nine points in February, but the Wild now sit in second place behind the Blackhawks.
NOTES: Staal will play in his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday, making him the 311th player to reach that milestone and the first from the 2003 draft class. … Saturday’s game was played in front of 19,337 fans, the largest crowd of the season at the Xcel Energy Center – for a Wild game, that is. The X had 21,485 fans for the recent semifinals of the Class AA Minnesota state high school hockey tournament. … Raanta established a career high with his 23rd start of the season. He has started the last five games for New York in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers announced on Twitter that Lundqvist skated for 40 minutes and faced live shots in New York on Saturday.
Rangers: Face the Devils in New Jersey on Tuesday.
Wild: Travel to Winnipeg to play the Jets on Sunday.
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