Vancouver held the Wild to just 4 shots in the second period as Roberto Luongo and company continued their dominance in the Northwest division on Tuesday night.
The Canucks (8-2-2) started the scoring on the power play at 11:33 as Kevin Bieksa tipped in a pass from Zach Kassian to give Vancouver the 1-0 lead. The goal was Bieksa's third of the season, and in the last four games.
Vancouver spent plenty of time in the penalty box in the first period, giving the Wild (6-6-1) three power play opportunities, as well as a roughing penalty issued to both Alex Burrows and Zenon Konopka that resulted in a 4-on-4 for two minutes.
The first period wasn't as pretty as the opening period last week in Minnesota, arguably the Canucks' best start to a game this season, but anytime you go into the intermission with a lead, you can't complain.
The second period started with a high sticking penalty against Keith Ballard that carried over from the final ten seconds of the first period. Much like the Canucks, the Wild have gotten off to somewhat of a slow start on the power play to start the year (17.1%, 19th in NHL).
At 9:03 in the 2nd period the Canucks added to their lead with a goal from Janik Hansen. The play was started with some impressive work along the boards from Mason Raymond to dig out the puck back to the top of the offensive zone. Raymond found Keith Ballard, who delivered a perfect pass to Hansen for the goal, his third
After taking half the period to get a shot on net, the Wild were able to scrap out a power play goal at 13:03 from Devin Setoguchi to cut the Canucks' lead in half. The goal marked the end of Roberto Luongo's scoreless streak against the wild at 228 minutes.
As the period was winding down, the Canucks gave rookie goaltender Darcy Kuemper a scare with a massive crowd in front of the net. Raymond found himself halfway in the net with the puck in the back. However, the refs waved it off, ruling the Raymond kicked it in.
After both teams got plenty of shots on net in the first, the scoring chances slowed down in the second, with Vancouver outshooting Minnesota 8-4.
At 6:39 in the third period, the Canucks were issued their sixth penalty of the game, sending the Wild to the power play once again. Vancouver was able to kill off the penalty, preserving their one goal lead.
Sensing urgency, the Wild picked up the pace in the third. After a save from Luongo, Ryan Suter missed tying up the game by a matter of inches. The post is a goalie's best friend in hockey, as was the case here as the puck rang off the post, keeping the game at 2-1 Vancouver.
With less than a minute to go, and Kuemper pulled, the Wild got two quality shots on Luongo, who answered with lockdown saves. As the final seconds ticked away, the Canucks cleared the puck away, notching up the win.
Luongo turned in another impressive performance against the Wild with 25 saves. Kuemper came up with 28 saves for the Wild. The Canucks outshot the Wild 30-26 during the night.
Vancouver gets the next two days off before facing the Dallas Stars on Friday night at Rogers Arena. The 4-game homestand concludes Sunday against the St. Louis Blues. The Canucks will then take to the road, starting with a tough test against the leaders of the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks, next Tuesday.