Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Minnesota Wild centre Joel Ericsson Ek (14) breaks a stick on a play with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Derrick Pouliot (5) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Mikko Koivu had a goal and two assists, and the surging Minnesota Wild beat the road-weary Vancouver Canucks 6-2 on Thursday night.

Eric Staal had a goal and an assist, and Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker also scored for the Wild, who had a season high in goals. Ryan Suter had two assists, and Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves. Minnesota has won four of five and 11 of 14.

Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund scored for Vancouver, which lost three straight in regulation to conclude its second six-game road trip of the season. The Canucks have played a league-high 14 road games, double its number of home contests.

Koivu scored one of the easiest goals of his 14-year career on the power play to make it 2-0 less than eight minutes into the game. Canucks goalie Richard Bachman passed from behind his net directly to Koivu feet from an empty net.

The goal came just over two minutes after the Wild captain assisted on Minnesota’s opening tally by Coyle.

Koivu has 10 points, including two goals, in his last six games.

Bachman, who played last season and the start of this season with AHL Utica, was in goal for Vancouver for the first time since April 9, 2017. He made 23 saves.

Jacob Markstrom started the nine previous games, Anders Nilsson remains out with a fractured finger and top prospect Thatcher Demko is out with post-concussion symptoms. Nilsson took some shots during morning skate but has not been medically cleared to play.

With Vancouver’s spotty defence, Bachman was forced to make sprawling saves, and a couple other pucks trickled just wide, especially late in the first.

On the power play, Niederreiter redirected Koivu’s pass 1:46 into the second for a 3-0 lead.

Horvat got the Canucks within 3-1 with a power-play goal later in the period, but Staal scored on a wraparound 36 seconds later to restore the three-goal lead.

Dumba’s shot from the blue line beat a screened Bachman late in the period. It was his seventh goal of the season, one behind Toronto’s Morgan Rielly for the league high by a defenceman.

RELATED: Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

NOTES: Wild LW Zach Parise missed the game with an illness. C Matt Hendricks, who’s missed 11 of 12 games with a lower-body injury, returned. … Minnesota is tied with Ottawa with a league-best 17 goals scored by defencemen. … Horvat leads the Canucks with 18 points, including 10 goals. … Vancouver rookie C Elias Pettersson, who has 10 goals and 17 assists, was held pointless for the fourth straight game.

UP NEXT

Canucks: Start two-game homestand Saturday against Montreal

Wild: Host Buffalo on Saturday

———

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Just Posted

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Road conditions for Feb. 15

Slippery sections on Highway 5

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Most Read