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Wild defeat Canucks 5-2 to snap three-game losing streak

The Canadian Press
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Minnesota Wild Wes Walz scores against Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo in the third period. (CP PHOTO/Chuck Stoody) Author: The Hockey News

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Wild defeat Canucks 5-2 to snap three-game losing streak

The Canadian Press
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Gaborik's goals were his first since October as Minnesota (22-19-0-3) ended its three-game losing streak. In fact, the road win was just the Wild's fifth this year and ended an 11-game road losing skid, one shy of the franchise record. Brian Rolston had a goal and two assists for Minnesota. Branko Radivojevic and Wes Walz also scored.

Taylor Pyatt and Willie Mitchell replied for Vancouver (24-19-0-1) before 18,630 spectators at General Motors Place.

The Wild led 2-0 after the first period and 3-0 early in the second, but Vancouver pulled to within 3-2 heading into the third.

Gaborik opened the scoring 3:09 into the first on the power play with his first goal since Oct. 18 against Los Angeles. Gaborik was appearing in only his third game since returning from a groin injury that forced him to miss 34 contests.

Rolston made it 2-0 at 12:36 of the first as Minnesota dominated the period, outshooting Vancouver 15-6. However, Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez

made a spectacular save on Josh Green, diving across the net to get his stick on the puck as Green shot towards an open goal.

Radivojevic put the Wild ahead 3-0 at 4:28 of the second, converting a goal-mouth pass from Rolston. The goal came after Vancouver forwards Matt Cooke and Brendan Morrison almost crashed into each other in the Minnesota zone and were slow to get back.

Pyatt scored Vancouver's first goal at 11:55 of the second on a nice goal-mouth pass from Ryan Kesler from behind Fernandez while the

teams were playing with four skaters aside.

Mitchell cut Vancouver's deficit to 3-2 about 10 minutes later as he deflected Markus Naslund's wrist shot for his first goal as a Canuck and just the 10th in 357 career NHL games.

But Gaborik cemented the win at 5:17 of the third with his second goal of the game. Walz rounded out the scoring at 13:37.

NOTES: Defenceman Alexander Edler, 20, suited up for Vancouver after being called up from AHL's Manitoba Moose. It's Edler's second stint in the NHL this season . . . Canucks defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick, who was almost voted into the all-star game by fans, was a healthy scratch, along with centre Marc Chouinard . . . Right winger Joel Ward was inserted in Minnesota's lineup after being recalled from Houston of the AHL.

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Wild defeat Canucks 5-2 to snap three-game losing streak