Wild win big over Calgary
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Zach Parise scored twice and Josh Harding continued his dominance in goal to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Harding stopped 24 of 25 shots to win his fifth straight start. He leads the NHL with a 1.10 goals-against average and .950 save percentage.
Parise put the Wild ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal at 6:28 of the second period. Ryan Suter passed to Parise at the edge of the crease, where he was stonewalled by Flames goalie Reto Berra. But the rebound bounced right back to Parise, who knocked it past the sprawled goaltender.
He added his second of the night and eighth of the season off a nifty give-and-go with Mikko Koivu and Suter during a 4-on-4 situation late in the third to make the score 5-1.
Calgary opened the scoring on Jiri Hudler’s sixth goal of the season at 5:24 of the first period. Lance Bouma beat a defender in the right faceoff circle and fed it into the slot, where a wide-open Hudler snapped it past Harding.
Koivu tied it less than 4 minutes later when he backhanded a rebound over Berra for his second goal of the year.
The Flames are midway through a four-game road trip that began on Sunday when Berra, a 26-year-old making his NHL debut, beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime.
Berra was solid again on Tuesday, stopping 13 of 15 shots through two periods and keeping the Flames in the game with a handful of saves on point-blank shots. But the Wild scored two goals in 33 seconds midway through the third to break the game open.
First, Justin Fontaine gave the Wild a 3-1 lead, carrying the puck from behind the net before firing a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that slipped past Berra. On the ensuing shift, Torrey Mitchell feathered a pass to Zenon Konopka on a 2-on-1 break, and Konopka beat Berra on the short side for his first goal of the year.
NOTES: Harding entered the game with a 6-0-0 record and a 1.06 GAA in home games this season. . Flames D Chad Billins made his NHL debut and assisted on Hudler’s goal. . Konopka’s goal was his first point in 55 career games with the Wild. His last goal came on Dec. 16, 2011, when he played for the Ottawa Senators.