Canucks end Wild winning streak with 2-0 victory

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — During their four-game winning streak, all under new head coach John Hynes, the Wild had started strong in each game. Their start on Thursday, though, might have surpassed all of them.

For the first 15 minutes, the Wild completely dominated a Vancouver team that was 8-3-1 at Rogers Arena, keeping the Canucks pinned in their own zone with the kind of quick, relentless attack that has been the norm since the team ended a seven-game losing streak that cost Dean Evason his job on Nov. 27.

And then suddenly, they weren’t.

Nils Hogerson and Teddy Blueger scored goals, and Casey DeSmith weathered an early storm and stopped 24 shots as the Canucks beat the Wild 2-0 late Thursday, the Wild’s first loss in five games since Hynes made his Minnesota debut on Nov. 28.

The Wild outshot the Canucks 10-0 over the first 13:18 of the game and held Vancouver to a single shot, period, over that time. Minnesota goaltender Filip Gustavsson didn’t have to make a stop until there was 6:42 in the frame.

But Hogerson broke a scoreless tie with 1:54 left in the first period, sending a wrist shot cleanly into the net from the high post to change the narrative of a game that had been going Minnesota’s way. During its win streak, Minnesota outscored its opponents 9-1 in the first period, and 18-5 overall.

Thursday was the Wild’s first shutout loss of the season. Gustavsson finished with 15 saves. DeSmith improved to 5-0-0 in his career against the Wild.

After a scoreless second period, during which the Wild were outshot 10-4, Blueger gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead when he took a pass between the circles and skated unmolested at Gustavsson, who guessed left and was beaten right two minutes into the third period.

Minnesota kept Vancouver pinned in its own zone early, and the Canucks had one shot attempt, period, at 10:51. Their first official shot on goal came with 6:42 left in the period. But in all that time, the Wild never got one past DeSmith, even during a strong power play that netted three shots on goal. And when Vancouver finally woke up and started playing in Minnesota’s end, Hogland sent a wrist shot in from the high slot that beat Gustavsson cleanly for a 1-0 lead at 18:06.

The Wild never recovered. They’ll try to regroup in an 8 p.m. puck drop Friday in Edmonton.

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