Parise scores 2 goals and Wild top Canucks 4-2
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Zach Parise cautioned against reading too much into the Minnesota Wild's 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
The Wild moved into a first-place tie with their Northwest Division rivals, recorded their fifth straight game with a point, and led for all but 24 seconds. But Parise didn't bite when asked if it was a statement game.
"It's hard to look at the standings all the time with just the way it goes, you go overnight from fourth to 12th," Parise said after scoring two goals and adding an assist for his 25th NHL three-point game.
After 24 games marked by inconsistency and slow starts, the Wild still have a lot to prove before they are viewed as a serious playoff contender.
"We're only halfway through, but I think it shows the way we've been playing a lot better lately and with a little more consistency," Parise said. "Season doesn't end today, playoffs don't start tomorrow, but just for us to get up top ... now we've got to respond and try to stay up there."
Niklas Backstrom had 25 saves, and Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild, who won their fourth straight home game and beat the Canucks for the first time this season.
"Our guys were ready for this one, for sure," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We feel like we're a team that's on the up and going in the right direction, and we were looking forward to this chance."
Cory Schneider made 28 saves, and Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins scored for the Canucks, who fell to 1-3-2 in their past six games.
"It's tough right now, we're being tested and that's why we need each and every guy in here to pull along," Daniel Sedin said.
Vancouver came up empty in four power-plays and hasn't scored a goal in its last 20 advantages. Daniel Sedin said it falls on him and his brother to get the power play back on track.
"We're leaders on this team, and this is the game I think we could've gotten ourselves back into it if our power play's getting off," he said. "We're two guys, we can make that happen."