Final

Series (Game 3 of 3)

Minnesota leads 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, December 17th
Canucks2Final
SO
Wild3
Game 2: Friday, February 28th
Wild2Final
SO
Canucks1
Game 3: Wednesday, March 26th
Canucks5Final
Wild2

Canucks 5

(34-30-10, 78 pts)

Wild 2

(37-25-11, 85 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 26, 2014

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
VAN 1 2 25
MIN 1 0 12

D. Booth (LW):

E. Lack (G):

C. Coyle (C):

David Booth scores 2 unassisted to lead Canucks over Wild

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Vancouver Canucks are at the point in the season where every loss could end their playoff hopes. Those hopes are still alive after a big road win over Minnesota.

David Booth scored two unassisted goals and Eddie Lack made 29 saves to lead Vancouver over the Wild 5-2 on Wednesday.

Zack Kassian, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver as the Canucks try to make a late push to overtake Phoenix and Dallas for the Western Conference's final wild-card playoff spot.

"It's huge; we're in a do-or-die position," Alex Burrows said. "If we would have lost this game, we probably would have been out of the race."

Minnesota outshot Vancouver 31-19 and got goals from Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter but lost its third straight at home.

Booth scored for the second consecutive game after going scoreless in his previous 32.

On his first goal, Booth took the puck the length of the ice after a faceoff and fired it past Darcy Kuemper.

Booth's second goal broke a 1-all tie in the second period and came after Jared Spurgeon whiffed on a pass in the Wild zone, leading to a bad turnover and a point-blank look for Booth.

"We didn't generate a ton of shots, but we were able to capitalize on the ones we did," Booth said.

Minnesota, currently holding the first wild-card spot in the West, controlled play for most of the first two periods but failed to capitalize on four power plays and fell behind 3-1.

Even though his team was generating chances early, Wild coach Mike Yeo was nervous.

"Especially in that first period, we're out-chancing them, we're outshooting them, but still. Just didn't quite have the right feel," he said.

Ilya Bryzgalov took over for the slumping Kuemper after two periods. Kuemper allowed three goals on 12 shots, the fifth time in his past seven start he has allowed at least three goals.

"Don't feel good about that one," Kuemper said. "Obviously we were controlling the play, and to find ourselves down 3-1, yeah, I've got to help the guys out a little bit better."

The switch didn't get Minnesota going. Vancouver killed an early third-period power play and then put the game away on Sedin's goal at 11:12 to make it 4-1.

"I didn't think we played great, but we stuck with it, and at the end, we came out with a big win," Sedin said. "For sure, it's something to build."

The goal was Sedin's first in his past 23 games and his first point in his past 13.

Coyle's goal was his third in three games. The center had scored only once in his previous 24 games.

Lack got a little help in the second period from Alexander Edler. Zach Parise stuffed the puck between Lack's pads, but just before it crossed the goal line, Edler swept it away.

"We know it's do-or-die now and we got to come up with the same kind of effort tomorrow," Lack said.

Vancouver has won six of its past nine after losing 11 of 12.

Both Phoenix and Dallas were idle Wednesday. The Canucks now have 78 points, Dallas 79 and Phoenix 82.

Henrik Sedin missed the game with a leg injury and didn't make the trip.

As Minnesota tries to hang on to its playoff position, Yeo has to answer questions about his goaltending situation.

"I want to be careful on that one. I'm not saying that we can't be any better between the pipes, but at the same time, there's some quality chances that we're giving up," he said. "Obviously, we have to do our part to make sure those guys are in the right frame of mind."

Game notes


Wild G Niklas Backstrom and F Jason Zucker each underwent surgery Tuesday and should be ready for the start of the 2014-15 season. Backstrom had core muscle surgery, and Zucker had a tendon in his left quadriceps repaired. ... Burrows played for Vancouver after missing Sunday's game with a hand injury. ... The Sedins have played in only two games together in March. ... The Wild begin a four-game trip in St. Louis on Thursday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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