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Minnesota Wild top Jets 3-2

Wild 3, Jets 2 (SO): Charlie Coyle scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout and Niklas Backstrom turned aside 37 shots in an emergency start as visiting Minnesota recorded its third straight one-goal victory over Winnipeg.

Wild 3, Jets 2 (SO): Charlie Coyle scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout and Niklas Backstrom turned aside 37 shots in an emergency start as visiting Minnesota recorded its third straight one-goal victory over Winnipeg.

After Wild captain Mikko Koivu and Bryan Little tallied in the second and third rounds, respectively, Coyle ended the contest by skating in before deftly using his reach to tuck the puck past the extended left pad of Ondrej Pavelec (33 saves).

Sidelined since Nov. 13 with a concussion, Backstrom got the nod after Josh Harding stepped on a puck and fell awkwardly during pregame warmups. Zach Parise netted his team's first short-handed goal of the season to forge a 2-2 tie and Nino Niederreiter also tallied for the Wild, who improved to 12-2-1 in their last 15 games.

Matt Halischuk and Michael Frolik each collected a goal and an assist for the Jets, who are winless in their last four contests (0-2-2).

After Halischuk cleaned up his own rebound to give Winnipeg a 2-1 lead at 5:35 of the third period, Minnesota answered exactly 9 1/2 minutes later. Defenseman Ryan Suter drove toward the net to create a lane for Koivu to set up Parise, who unleashed a one-timer past Pavelec.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: Minnesota G Darcy Kuemper was assigned to Iowa of the American Hockey League prior to the game, but returned to MTS Centre in time to serve as the club's backup late in the first period. ... Winnipeg D Mark Stuart logged nearly 18 minutes of ice time in his first contest back from a hip injury. ... Harding was the goaltender of record in the two previous meetings with Minnesota. He stopped 14 shots in a 2-1 victory on Oct. 10 and 21 in Sunday's 2-1 triumph.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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