MINNEAPOLIS -- The Wild injected two new faces into its lineup, but the change wasn't enough to snap the team out of its recent funk -- which extended to three games after a 4-1 loss to the Canucks Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.
Two Vancouver goals in just 1 minute, 12 seconds during the second period were the difference, flipping a tie game into a two-goal cushion that the Canucks protected the rest of the way to spoil the returns of winger Jason Zucker and defenseman Greg Pateryn.
Zucker was back in action after missing the previous 10 games with a fractured right fibula, while Pateryn made his season debut after being sidelined following core muscle surgery in October.
Vancouver scored first at 9:20 of the second on the power play, a deflection by Elias Pettersson that continued a special-teams free-for-all.
Before then, the Wild committed five penalties – including two back-to-back in the first. But the recently maligned penalty kill was able to survive most of Vancouver's pressure. It finished the game 7-for-8.
Just 2:38 after Pettersson's goal, the Wild evened it when winger Marcus Foligno banked in a rebound off a Luke Kunin shot while he was crashing the net. The goal was Foligno's fourth in his last four games.
But the Canucks retook control on the very next shift.
At 12:11, Bo Horvat buried a loose puck in the crease that landed there after caroming off defenseman Matt Dumba.
And by 13:23, the Canucks were up by two goals after Troy Stecher scored on a glove-side shot. Horvat tallied his second into an empty net with six seconds remaining.
The Wild's power play went 0-for-5 but could have had more chances; winger Zach Parise had his stick held and then was cross-checked in the second, but neither sequence was called. Soon after, Vancouver opened the scoring.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves. Jacob Markstrom had 23 for the Canucks.
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