Eric Staal’s second goal of the game capped a franchise record-breaking four-goal outburst early in the second period and the Minnesota Wild skated to a 6-2 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night in St. Paul, MN.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves at Xcel Energy Center and had a front-row seat to his team’s seventh wins in nine games.
Already up 1-0 after the first period, the Wild went on a scoring spree after the intermission, with Nino Niederreiter kicking things off just 23 seconds into the middle period. Niederreiter was parked in the slot and deflected a Jared Spurgeon point shot to snap a nine-game goal drought.
Zach Parise made it a 3-0 tilt exactly two minutes later with a power-play marker for his third goal in a five-game point-scoring streak. Parise was at the doorstep and perfectly redirected Mikko Koivu’s shot-pass.
The Wild were only halfway through the barrage. Daniel Winnik gave himself a 33rd birthday present by netting his sixth goal of the season at the 3:36 mark. His long wrist shot went top-corner and spelled the end of the night for Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, who allowed four goals on 13 shots and was replaced by Scott Darling.
Darling fared no better to start, either, beaten on the first shot he faced at 3:51 of the second period when Staal made it 5-0 with his 36th goal of the season on a breakaway. It gave the Wild four goals in a 3:28 span.
Steal also opened the scoring with an early Wild power-play goal at 4:35 of the first period. After taking the pass from Ryan Suter, Staal worked to the top of the right circle and fired a wrist shot Ward should have stopped.
Suter’s two assist give him 41 on the season, two shy of his career high, and 22 in the past 26 games. Koivu and Spurgeon also collected a pair of helpers.
Phillip Di Giuseppe spoiled Dubnyk’s shutout bit at 9:23 of the third period with a deflection goal, after which he didn’t even bother to raise his arms in celebration. Then Minnesota’s Matt Cullen and Carolina’s Derek Ryan traded late third-period goals to round out the scoring.
Darling stopped 16 shots in his relief appearance.
—Field Level Media