Malhotra scores twice, Canucks beat Wild

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—Manny Malhotra(notes) had two goals and an assist and rookie backup Cory Schneider(notes) made 23 saves in the Vancouver Canucks’ 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.

Raffi Torres(notes), Ryan Kesler(notes) and Jeff Tambellini(notes) also scored, and Jannik Hansen(notes) added two assists to help the Canucks avenge a 6-2 loss in Minnesota on Tuesday night.

That was the game that Canucks forward Rick Rypien(notes) grabbed a Minnesota fan while being sent to the dressing room after a fight with Brad Staubitz(notes). Rypien was suspended six games by the NHL on Friday.

Antti Miettinen(notes) ended Schneider’s bid for his first NHL shutout with 2:35 left, snapping a shot off the goalie’s glove and just over the goal line.

Jose Theodore(notes) made 30 saves in his Minnesota debut after first-stringer Niklas Backstrom(notes) made his sixth straight start the night before in Edmonton.

Schneider also played in the game against Minnesota on Tuesday, but only after Roberto Luongo(notes) was pulled after two periods. Luongo was back in goal for a 2-1 shootout loss in Chicago the following night, so Schneider got his second start of the season against the Wild as Vancouver played its third game in four days.

The 24-year-old goalie wasn’t tested often by a Wild team coming off a win in Edmonton, but made a couple of nice saves in tight and has looked good in both of his starts. Coming off a 32-save victory over Carolina in his debut Sunday, Schneider improved his save percentage to .969 early in his first full NHL season after spending most of the last three in the American Hockey League.

Theodore signed with the Wild on Oct. 2 as an emergency replacement after backup Josh Harding(notes) tore up his knee in a preseason game, and didn’t join the team until it returned from season-opening games in Finland.

The former Vezina and Hart Trophy winner faced a handful of good chances as the Canucks controlled the early play. Torres opened the scoring 11 minutes in, taking a feed from behind the net and snapping his 100th career goal past Theodore from just above the goal line, a sharp-angle shot between the pad and the post.

Minnesota had a great chance to tie it with an NHL-leading power play that came in converting 44.4 percent of its chances, including going 3 for 3 against the Canucks earlier in the week. But the Wild failed to generate much on a minute long 5-on-3 in the opening minute of the second period, with defenseman Marek Zidlicky(notes) ringing the best scoring chance off the goal post.

Kesler doubled the lead just 2 minutes after the second power play expired, parking on top of Theodore along with linemate Mason Raymond(notes) and banging the rebound from a point shot past a sprawled Theodore.

Malhotra scored his first goal of the season—and as a Canuck—on a backdoor redirection of Alex Edler’s slap pass midway through the third period, and added his second on another tip while driving the net 5 minutes later.

Tambellini, moved up to play on the top line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin(notes), rounded out the scoring on a breakaway 15 seconds after Miettinen’s goal.

NOTES: Minnesota D Cam Barker(notes) sat out with a groin injury after playing in Edmonton the night before, and was replaced by rookie Clayton Stoner(notes), who is from nearby Victoria. … Schneider’s second start at Rogers Arena this season already matches the number of times a healthy Luongo has watched a home game from the bench in his first four seasons in Vancouver. Wild C Pierre-Marc Bouchard(notes) skated hard in morning practice and hopes to resume contact next week after missing all but one game last season because of post-concussion symptoms.

Updated Oct 23, 12:52 am EDT
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Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Jose Theodore Min 35 30
Cory Schneider Van 24 23

Scoreboard

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