VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Clutch goals from the power play.
A perfect performance by the penalty kill.
Timely saves from the goaltender.
To stop a season-long, three-game losing streak, the Wild utilized the formula that fueled its prowess earlier this season — relying on a smart, patient, well-rounded hockey — to outlast the Canucks 3-2 on Tuesday night in front of 17,122 at Rogers Arena in its first of three consecutive tests on the road this week.
“That’s what we did a whole bunch at the start of the year,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said. “It was nice to get back to a game like that.”
The power play went 3-for-3, Wild penalty killers snuffed out all three of the Canucks’ looks and Dubnyk corralled 29 saves to secure his first victory since Nov. 15 — also against the Canucks.
He was particularly effective in the third period, turning aside 14 shots to protect the Wild’s one-goal lead.
“It’s just been a really weird stretch, just not seeing a lot of shots, pucks finding their way in for whatever reason,” Dubnyk said. “You have to try harder and harder each game to not let it affect what you’re doing and squeeze the stick. Tough way to start [Tuesday] when you’re trying to get rid of that. It was nice to get some work and get some shots and get back to the way you’re used to feeling.”
Two power-play goals in 55 seconds flipped the game in the Wild’s favor.
Defenseman Ryan Suter’s point shot during a 5-on-3 look 15 minutes, 36 seconds into the second period tied the score at 2 before a blistering one-timer from winger Jason Zucker pushed the Wild ahead at 16:31.
“You want to make sure in any game that you’re winning the special-teams battle,” Zucker said, “and we did that.”
Winger Mikael Granlund assisted on both goals and now has five points during a three-game point streak. His 28 points pace the Wild.
“That was a big turnaround in this game, three goals on the power play,” Granlund said. “That’s the recipe for the win on the road.”
And after a spotless 3-for-3 performance by the power play — the second time the unit has contributed that many goals in a game this season — the Wild has tallied 11 power-play goals in the past 10 games.
This latest round of production sealed the Wild’s 10th victory when its opponent scores first.
Only 7:02 into the first period, Canucks winger Josh Leivo secured his first goal with Vancouver a day after being acquired in a trade with Toronto — a blocker-side shot off the rush.
Before the period expired, though, the Wild evened it with its first power-play goal at 12:17.
Winger Zach Parise tipped in a wind-up from defenseman Matt Dumba for his team-leading 13th goal.
After only six shots in the first period, the Canucks didn’t apply much more pressure for the first half of the second.
They didn’t register their first shot on goal of the period until 8:11, but that sparked a slew of looks for Vancouver.
Dubnyk held off the first wave, with a pad save on center Tyler Motte his best.
But Vancouver persisted and on the next shift, Motte buried a rebound off another pad save by Dubnyk at 9:56.
That boost, however, didn’t last long, with consecutive Vancouver penalties giving the Wild an opportunity to erase its deficit — which it did.
Goalie Anders Nilsson had 25 stops for the Canucks.
“Hopefully it can start a streak the other direction,” Wild center Eric Staal said.