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Three-goal second period leads Wild past Hurricanes

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Stephane Veilleux's shorthanded

goal late in the second period proved to be the game-winner as

the Minnesota Wild scored three times in the session and

overcame a two-goal deficit en route to a 3-2 triumph over the

Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Marian Gaborik scored on the power play and rookie Cal

Clutterbuck also tallied for the Wild, who scored at least three

goals for just the second time in nine games.

"I just kind of drive to the net and hope to get a rebound,"

Veilleux said of the shorthanded chance. "(I) got a little


Niklas Backstrom made 13 of his 35 saves in the third period,

including a number of stops during a 2:08 two-man advantage

early in the session, sparking a rousing ovation from the home


"It was unbelievable," Backstrom said. "I was talking to the

guys, we've never experienced anything like that, not even in

the playoffs. It was huge."

The Hurricanes held a big advantage in scoring chances in the

first and third, but the Wild only needed the second 20 minutes

to earn the win.

"We generated a whole lot of shots," Carolina head coach Paul

Maurice said. "(Backstrom) made some great saves and I thought

he was the difference for them in the game."

After Gaborik tied the game, 2-2, following Mikko Koivu's second

assist of the game, Veilleux scored the go-ahead goal 10 minutes

later with Carolina on the man-advantage.

Eric Belanger's shot was stopped by goaltender Michael Leighton,

but Veilleux was there to finish off the rebound for his fourth

tally of the season.

The Hurricanes held a 37-23 edge in shots on goal, including

23-10 combined in the first and third periods. They were unable

to take advantage of four Wild penalties despite a furious rush

during the two-man advantage in the third.

"I think always, if you can kill a 3-on-5 - especially for that

long - it's very important," Koivu said. "And you need a solid

goaltender to do that."

Following a four-minute high sticking penalty on Krystofer

Kolanos, Antti Miettinen was whistled for hooking 1:52 later.

But Backstrom was up to the task as Minnesota won consecutive

home games for the first time in over a month.

"We need to get back to our game, we need to play with

confidence, we need to cut down our mistakes," Wild head coach

Jacques Lemaire said.

"We need to be a better team, that's what we need to be. And

hopefully Christmas doesn't spoil that win."

Captain Rod Brind'Amour and Ray Whitney had a goal and an assist

apiece for Carolina.

Gaborik and Koivu added assists on Clutterbuck's goal just 4:17

into the second.



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