Canucks club Wild; Wolves hammer Hawks
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Left winger David Booth scored two unassisted goals, goalie Eddie Lack made 29 saves and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Right winger Zack Kassian, left winger Daniel Sedin and center Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks, who won for the third straight time and fourth time in five games, earning an important two points as they keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
Center Charlie Coyle and right winger Nino Niederreiter scored for Minnesota, 3-4-4 in its last 11 games.
Vancouver began the night in 10th place in the Western Conference, three points behind Dallas and six behind eighth-place Phoenix. The Stars and Coyotes were idle Wednesday. The Canucks play Thursday at Colorado to complete a two-game trip before beginning a five-game homestand.
The Wild, who entered the game in seventh in the conference standings, three points up on Phoenix and six on Dallas, were looking to establish some momentum before beginning a four-game road trip Thursday in St. Louis, a team they have lost to eight straight times. The trip also takes Minnesota to Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Wolves 107, Hawks 83
After three consecutive losses that left star forward Kevin Love visibly down and distracted Monday night in Memphis, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman delivered a positive message before Wednesday’s game.
He asked his team to play for pride and professionalism the rest of the way even if the playoffs now are all but out of the question. The result was a 107-83 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Target Center.
The Timberwolves ended their losing streak while handing the Hawks a fourth consecutive loss.
Minnesota (35-35) pushed a seven-point halftime lead to as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter. Guard Kevin Martin and forward Corey Brewer scored 18 points each for the Timberwolves, and rookie center Gorgui Dieng delivered his fifth double-double in six NBA career starts with a 15-point, 15-rebound game.
Love contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Wednesday’s victory followed losses to the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies in which the Wolves allowed 129, 127 and 109 points, crushing Minnesota’s playoff hopes.
Still, with 12 games left in their season, Adelman told his players there is plenty left to play for.
“There’s a privilege to play in this league,” Adelman told reporters before Wednesday’s game. “We had a season where we’ve had some disappointment. We never cashed out. We kept playing. We responded. They have pride in themselves and the team, and there’s no reason to even think anything else.”