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Niklas Backstrom stops 29 shots to give Wild 1-0 win over Coyotes

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Niklas Backstrom stops 29 shots to give Wild 1-0 win over Coyotes

The Canadian Press
By:

From the opening face off of the middle period, Gaborik broke down the right side and his wrist shot from 15 feet deflected off Curtis Joseph's pads and into the net at 12 seconds. It was Gaborik's third goal in his past two games.

Gaborik's goal set a Minnesota franchise record for the fastest at the start of a period. Wes Walz set the previous mark, 20 seconds into a period, on Dec. 8, 2001, at Philadelphia.

With an air-tight defence and Backstrom's stellar goal keeping, Gaborik's goal was all Minnesota needed. Backstrom was filling in for the injured Manny Fernandez.

The Coyotes had a goal disallowed at 15:36 of the first period. During a goal-mouth scramble, Oleg Saprykin redirected the puck behind Backstrom with his right skate. After a video review, referee Dan O'Halloran waved off the goal.

The Coyotes came close to tying the game twice in the second period.

Yanic Perreault broke in alone behind the defence in front of Backstrom, but only managed a weak shot with under seven minutes remaining. Then Patrick Fischer took a feed from Perreault, but was denied by Backstrom with four minutes left.

Phoenix couldn't capitalize on a power play late in the game. With the Keith Carney off for interference at 15:57 of the final period, Backstrom stopped Steven Reinprecht in the Coyotes' only good shot.

Backstrom preserved the shutout in the final seconds when he deflected Phoenix defenceman Zbynek Michalek's blast from the right side.

Notes: Phoenix is 12 points behind Minnesota for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. ... Prior to the game, Minnesota recalled defenceman Shawn Belle from Houston of the AHL. In eight games earlier this season with the Wild, Belle picked up one assist and no penalty minutes.

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Niklas Backstrom stops 29 shots to give Wild 1-0 win over Coyotes