Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season and Ryan Suter had two more assists, leading Minnesota past the San Jose Sharks 2-0 on Saturday for the Wild's season-high fifth straight victory.
Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon scored for Minnesota. The Wild are 14-5-1 in their last 20 games, and have won by two goals or more each time in their five-game winning streak.
Bakstrom swatted aside Andrew Desjardins's penalty shot barely 3 minutes into the game. The goalie is 13-3-1 in his last 17 games, giving up two goals or fewer in 13 of those turns.
With backup Josh Harding on injured reserve while he's adjusting to medication for multiple sclerosis, the 35-year-old Backstrom has been a stalwart for the Wild in this lockout-condensed season. He has started 14 of their last 15 games. Since a win over Nashville on Feb. 9, Backstrom leads the NHL in wins.
After denying the penalty shot by Desjardins, Backstrom took a risk by coming way out to defend former teammate ...