Nilsson, Virtanen lead the Canucks over Wild

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ST. PAUL — Jake Virtanen broke a scoreless tie midway through the third period, Anders Nilsson made 29 saves for his fourth career shutout and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Virtanen scored his second goal of the season and the second in as many games. Nilsson tallied his second shutout in three games this season for Vancouver.

Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in goal for Minnesota, but suffered his third losses in five starts this season.

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The Wild’s typically strong defense has been missing much of the season, but they were coming off a win at Calgary in which they allowed just two goals.

Tuesday against the Canucks would be a defensive battle for both teams. Neither team could generate much offensively as passes routinely deflected off sticks and little flow kept the forwards from generating strong scoring chances.

Vancouver only had six shots on goal in the first period and five in the third. Virtanen took advantage of his chance, collecting a loose puck in the neutral zone and skating in on Dubnyk.

Virtanen’s initial shot was blocked by kneeling defenseman Jared Spurgeon, but Virtanen quickly snapped the loose puck past Dubnyk from in the slot.

Minnesota hasn’t been the same without three of its top-nine forwards, including Zach Parise, who underwent back surgery on Tuesday and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Charlie Coyle (right fibula fracture) and Nino Niederreiter (high left ankle sprain) are also out of the lineup, leaving coach Bruce Boudreau a mix of young players and depth players playing bigger roles.


Wild F Mikael Granlund returned after missing five games with a groin injury. … Vancouver announced D Troy Stetcher will miss four to six weeks with a knee injury. The team recalled D Patrick Wiercioch and G Thatcher Demko from Utica of the American Hockey League. Weircioch and Demko were healthy scratches. … F Justin Kloos made his NHL debut for Minnesota. The Lakeville, Minn. native and former University of Minnesota star signed with the Wild as a college free agent in March.

Up next

Canucks: Return home on Thursday against the Washington Capitals.

Wild: A season-high, six-game homestand continues Wednesday against the New York Islanders.