ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Cody McCormick had a goal and an assist and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped all 20 shots he faced as the Minnesota Wild beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 Saturday night.
Erik Haula, Mikko Koivu, and Stephane Veilleux also scored for the Wild, who maintained a five-point cushion over Dallas for the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Bryzgalov posted his second shutout since being acquired by the Wild on March 4. He was steady throughout and made a pair of outstanding saves in the second period to keep the shutout intact.
First he sprawled to his right to rob James Neal with a stick save. A few minutes later, he kicked out his right leg just in time to stuff Lee Stempniak, who was alone at the left post after a rebound off the back boards had bounced out to him.
The Wild jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period, scoring on three of their first five shots against Pittsburgh rookie goalie Jeff Zatkoff. Haula started the scoring just 1:42 into the game, chipping a backhand shot over Zatkoff’s shoulder on the back end of a give-and-go with Matt Moulson.
Haula has scored twice in two games while filling in for Mikael Granlund, who has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury.
Koivu put Minnesota up 2-0 on their fourth shot of the game, scoring his 11th of the season just under 9 minutes in. Koivu carried the puck across the Penguins’ blue line, waited patiently for Zach Parise to crash the net, then flicked a wrist shot past a screened Zatkoff.
Veilleux pushed the lead to 3-0 on a gift goal from Zatkoff. McCormick fed the puck into the slot, where Veilleux corralled it, spun and fired a shot that was headed wide of the net. Zatkoff tried to glove it, but he mishandled the puck and it trickled behind him and into the net.
The Wild kept pouring it on, with McCormick converting Parise’s setup in front of the net for his first goal with the Wild at 6:24 of the second period.
The game was played before 19,409 fans, the largest crowd for a Wild game in the history of Xcel Energy Center, which opened in 2000. ... McCormick’s assist on Velleiux’s goal was his first point with the Wild. He and Moulson were acquired from Buffalo on March 5. . Parise’s first-period assist was his 500th NHL point.