RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Minnesota Wild are on such a roll that just hanging close in games might be enough for them to accomplish their mission.
Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise scored in a two-minute span of the third period as the Wild won their fifth game in a row, defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Friday night.
“We didn’t play our best hockey the first two periods, but we were still 1-1,” Granlund said. “Then we were more detailed and we knew we could be better.”
Charlie Coyle also scored for Minnesota, which won its sixth consecutive road game. Jason Pominville had two assists.
Devan Dubnyk made 37 saves for the Wild, continuing the team’s strong stretch since the All-Star break. Minnesota is 16-2-1 since the layoff.
Dubnyk said he knew there were rough spots that the Wild could sort out so they would be able to win on back-to-back nights.
“The most important thing is to keep that game (tied) and let us have a chance,” Dubnyk said.
Dubnyk did his part, particularly when the Hurricanes scored only once on 16 second-period shots.
“He’s playing unreal and giving us a chance,” Granlund said.
The third-period efficiency was pleasing to Wild coach Mike Yeo.
“The focus that we had and how we really went after it was a really good sign,” Yeo said.
Riley Nash broke a scoring slump by producing the tying goal in the second period for the Hurricanes. Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin made 16 saves.
Hurricanes coach Bill Peters described his team as sluggish and uninterested.
“We were not very good,” Peters said. “I didn’t think we made a lot of plays.”
Granlund’s go-ahead goal with 15:38 remaining came when his delivery went off the skate of Carolina’s Chris Terry. Parise scored his team-leading 26th after a Carolina turnover.
“You have to be opportunistic and wait for your chance,” Parise said, realizing the outcome might not have seemed fitting after the first two periods. “Then everyone thinks you’re playing a great game.”
The Wild struck first when Coyle took a pass from Granlund and sent a shot past Khudobin midway in the first period for his first goal in 14 games. The Wild have scored first in 15 of their last 19 games.
Carolina’s goal came late in the second period. Nash collected teammate Jeff Skinner’s pass on a breakout and put the puck past Dubnyk, ending a 17-game goal drought.
That was part of a second period when the Hurricanes held a 16-4 edge in shots.
NOTES: Dubnyk started a 23rd consecutive game for the Wild. . Minnesota RW Nino Niederreiter was back after a one-game absence with a lower-body injury, but RW Thomas Vanek was out sick. . D Rasmus Rissanen made his NHL debut for the Hurricanes. . The Hurricanes began a five-game homestand in their first home game this month, which will include 11 total home games.
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