Final Score: Minnesota 3, Carolina 1
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise tallied
first-period goals that held up as the Minnesota Wild posted a 3-1 decision
over the Carolina Hurricanes at XCel Energy Center.
Both early scores came against Justin Peters, who was pressed into duty for
Carolina when No. 1 goaltender Cam Ward exited with a significant lower-body
injury just 4:07 into the contest.
The Hurricanes announced during the game that Ward would likely miss the next
Dany Heatley's first goal of the season, an empty-netter with 25.9 seconds
left, sealed the Wild's fourth straight win on home ice.
"I thought our start was good. Got up a couple goals and we definitely let our
foot off the gas," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo.
Josh Harding stopped 20-of-21 shots for Minnesota before leaving after two
periods with a lower-body injury of his own. Niklas Backstrom came on for the
third and made seven saves to protect the lead.
Alexander Semin scored on the power-play for the Hurricanes' only goal. Peters
turned back 19-of-21 chances for Carolina, which had begun its current four-
game road trip with back-to-back victories.
"Peters came in and did a good job for jumping into that kind of situation,"
said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller.
Ward sustained the injury when stretching out to make a save on an attempt by
the Wild's Mikael Granlund that landed wide. Minnesota then took advantage
with Peters entering the game cold, connecting on its initial two shots on
goal against the recently recalled netminder to forge ahead.
The first came with the Wild on a power play 8:21 in, with Granlund sending a
nifty no-look feed from behind the net that Niederreiter rocketed home from
Parise made it a 2-0 lead with just over eight minutes to go in the opening
period, skating in and beating a backcheck to knock in the rebound of teammate
Jared Spurgeon's shot that clanged off the left post.
The Hurricanes finally got on the board just over six minutes into the second
period. With Heatley sent off for slashing, Semin one-timed a cross-ice feed
from Eric Staal while stationed at the left circle to convert the power-play
Carolina had two more 5-on-4 sequences in the third period, but failed to
threaten on either, and a high-sticking call on Radek Dvorak with 1:38 to go
all but ended the Hurricanes' comeback hopes.
Peters was pulled after the penalty, but a good outlet pass from Wild
defenseman Nate Prosser led to Heatley's empty-net marker that clinched the
The Wild were hosting "Harding's Hope Night", with proceeds of the game
donated to Harding's charity that raises funds and awareness for multiple
sclerosis. The goaltender was diagnosed with the disease last November ...
Carolina announced during the game that it would recall goaltender Mike Murphy
from AHL Charlotte prior to Friday's matchup with Colorado ... Staal skated in
his 700th career NHL game ... Minnesota played without defenseman Jonas
Brodin, who fractured his right cheekbone when struck by a shot Tuesday
against Nashville ... Forward Patrick Dwyer sat out for Carolina due to an
upper-body injury ... The Hurricanes fell to 0-2-2 against Western Conference
foes this season.
10/25 02:12:10 ET
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