Canucks finally beat Wild on the road

The Vancouver Canucks got their first win at Xcel Energy Arena this year, in their third try, as they beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1.

Xcel had not been kind to Vancouver, as they had lost 4-0 and 6-2 in the previous 2 games. However, tonight was destined to be different.

Offensively maligned Manny Maholtra got the Canucks off to a quick start, as he converted on a powerplay, tipping a Sami Salo point shot past Wild goaltender Nicklas Backstrom for his 7th goal of the year, and his first since December 28th, a span of 23 games. Backstrom finished the game with only 10 saves, as the Canucks only mustered 13 overall.

The Wild countered however, as surprise offensive threat Cal Clutterbuck got his 18th goal of the year, also on the powerplay, as he beat Canucks goalie Cory Schneider from a very bad angle.
Schneider finished the night with 28 saves.

In the second period, Jannik Hansen scored his eigth goal of the year, and second in as many games, as he beat Backstrom when the puck deflected right to him. He simply tapped the puck in for an easy goal, as he was falling to the ice.

In the final minute of the period, Mikael Samulesson continued his hot streak, as he scored his 16th goal of the campaign after a nifty little back pass from Ryan Kesler. Kesler, kept off the scoresheet last night in St.Louis, had 2 points tonight.

In the third, the Canucks could only muster one shot. The good news, is that it was a shot by Ryan Kesler that travelled the length of the ice and ended up in the Wild's empty net. It was Kesler's 33rd of the year, tops on the team, and second in the NHL.

The Canucks play next in Nashville on Thursday.

Notes: Sami Salo has two points in three games this season...Alex Burrows had his nine game point streak snapped, it was the longest active streak in the NHL... Manny Malhotra had two points in the game for the second time in three games.