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(Saturday, April 5th)
Final Score: Minnesota 4, Pittsburgh 0
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 20 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season, and Minnesota continued to push for a playoff berth with a 4-0 decision over Pittsburgh at Xcel Energy Center.
"I think not only the good lead in the first period, the whole game the team was playing unbelievable. They did a tremendous job," Bryzgalov said. "I'm just trying to enjoy the hockey and help the team and help the guys like they helping me to get these points and help to win the games."
Erik Haula, Mikko Koivu and Stephane Veilleux tallied in a strong first period for the Wild, owners of the first wild-card spot in the West who remained five points up on Dallas -- which won at Tampa Bay.
Cody McCormick added the other tally and Charlie Coyle supplied two assists.
Jeff Zatkoff made 16 saves for the Penguins, who took their foot off the gas and sat several regulars, including Evgeni Malkin, having clinched the Metropolitan Division. In addition, forward Jussi Jokinen (upper body) and defenseman Olli Maatta (lower body) were on the sidelines.
Haula chipped one home from the slot thanks to a bouncing lead pass by Matt Moulson for the opening goal at 1:42.
Koivu put the Wild up 2-0 at 8:47, using Zach Parise and a Pens defender as a screen and whipping a shot home from between the circles and Veilleux notched his third of the season at 14:56 with an off-balance shot which trickled off Zatkoff's glove and in.
Minnesota went up by a 4-0 count at 6:24 of the second, when McCormick jumped into the rush and one-timed a Parise feed from the high slot.
Bryzgalov only needed to make five saves in the middle frame and then seven more in the third to keep his team's winning margin intact.
"We have to play the right way," Pens captain Sidney Crosby said. "We know what that is. We've done a good job of it. It's just a matter of making sure we find that urgency for the last bit."
Bryzgalov improved to 5-0-3 with two shutouts and a goals-against average falling towards two-per-game since joining Minnesota ... Pittsburgh has been shut out three times in its last 13 games despite ranking second in the Eastern Conference with 237 goals ... Attendance was a record 19,409.
04/06 00:44:56 ET
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