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Malhotra Leads Canucks Past Wild, 5-1

(Sports Network) – Raffi Torres scored his 100th career goal and Manny Malhotra notched two goals and an assist in Vancouver’s 5-1 victory over Minnesota at Rogers Arena.

Jannik Hansen added two helpers and Cory Schneider turned aside 23 shots to earn the win for the Canucks, who have claimed five straight home meetings with the Wild.

“It’s nice when your team averages five goals a game for you offensively,” Schneider said. “We seem to be comfortable here at home and really buzz and put pressure on other teams.”

Antti Miettinen tallied the only goal while Jose Theodore stopped 30 shots in defeat for Minnesota, which knocked off Vancouver Tuesday night in the first of six meetings this season.

“We didn’t execute the puck and we got the result we got,” Minnesota coach Todd Richards said.

However, that game was marred by Canucks center Rick Rypien reaching into the stands to grab a fan on his way to the penalty box in the second period. The league suspended the 26-year-old for six games on Friday.

Malhotra skated down the left side and sent the puck behind the net where it was picked up by Hansen, who fed to the bottom of the left circle from where a charging Torres slipped it past Theodore 11 minutes into the game.

Marek Zidlicky hit the left post on a slapper from the right point on a Wild power play a minute into second period. The Wild, who led the NHL with 12 man advantage goals coming into the contest and were successful on all three opportunities against the Canucks three nights ago, were 0-for-4 on the power play on Friday.

The Canucks took a 2-0 lead 4 1/2 minutes into the middle session when Ryan Kesler backhanded the rebound of an Andrew Alberts point shot through a screen and past a prone Theodore.

The game stayed that way until Alexander Edler sent a rolling puck from the mid-point to the left doorstep from where Malhotra one timed it past Theodore with 8:55 to go in the game.

Hansen carried the puck into the Wild zone and put on the breaks just inside the blue line before saucering a pass to a streaking Malhotra, who chipped it past Theodore to extend the hosts lead to 4-0.

Guillaume Latendresse fed Miettinen at the left circle and his shot deflected off the glove arm of Schneider and trickled into the net to spoil the shutout bid with 2:35 to play.

Henrik Sedin then sprung a streaking Jeff Tambellini in all alone and he ripped a shot past the Theodore to make it 5-1 just 15 seconds later.

Game Notes

Daniel Sedin had his seven-game point scoring streak snapped, which tied for the fourth longest in team history at the start of a season…Henrik Sedin has 39 assists and 46 points in 58 games against the Wild…As part of their 40th anniversary celebration, the Canucks honored Cliff Ronning during Friday’s game…He played in 366 games with Vancouver from 1990-91 through 1995-96 and tallied 112 goals and 216 assists…Ronning added 24 goals and 34 helpers in 72 playoff games…He is tied with defenseman Jyrki Lumme for the second most post-season games in franchise history, behind only Trevor Linden…The Wild’s Matt Cullen had a four-game streak with an assist snapped…Minnesota, which won in Edmonton Thursday night, has not won road games on consecutive days since January 10-11, 2008 when it defeat Detroit and Chicago…Theodore is 3-2-0 in his last five starts in Vancouver.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.