ST. PAUL (AP) -- The rested Minnesota Wild improved their chances for the postseason by dampening Chicago's.
Dwayne Roloson stopped 21 shots, and Wes Walz scored the game-winning goal in the second period to lead the Wild to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over the Blackhawks.
The Wild, who tied a franchise record with 26 wins, picked up two crucial points in the tight Western Conference standings while Chicago, which came into the game ninth in the West with 56 points, failed to gain ground.
"This is a tough team to play against and this was a big two points because they are getting close to us in the standings," Roloson said.
The Wild have 61 points.
Marian Gaborik, fresh off notching a goal and two assists in Sunday's All-Star game, came up empty on four shots, including a penalty shot in the first period. But he did pick up an assist on the game's first goal.
Kyle Calder scored Chicago's lone goal, and Jocelyn Thibault made 23 saves for the Blackhawks, who have lost three of the last four games on their current seven-game road trip.
"It's not the lack of chances," Chicago coach Brian Sutter said. "We get opportunities like we did tonight. Roloson was good."
After a scoreless first period, Filip Kuba gave the Wild a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal after picking up a missed pass just below the left circle. Gaborik tried to find Andrew Brunette on the left side of the net, but the puck skipped out to Kuba, who slapped it past Thibault at 3:50 of the second.
Just 2:49 later, Walz took a breakaway pass that appeared to skip off a defender's skate and beat Thibault to the glove side for his eighth goal to make it 2-0.
But Calder got Chicago back in the game by tipping in Nathan Dempsey's hard shot from just below the blue line at 13:35 of the second period to pull the Blackhawks to 2-1.
Chicago 0 1 0 -- 1
Minnesota 0 2 0 -- 2
First Period--None. Penalties--Simon, Chi, major (fighting), 2:28; Brown, Min, major (fighting), 2:28; Laaksonen, Min (hooking), 7:52.
Second Period--1, Minnesota, Kuba 4 (Gaborik, Dowd), 3:50 (pp). 2, Minnesota, Walz 8 (Marshall, Laaksonen), 6:40. 3, Chicago, Calder 13 (Dempsey), 13:35. Penalties--Bell, Chi (roughing), 1:53; Klemm, Chi (high-sticking), 19:53.
Third Period--None. Penalties--Bell, Chi (elbowing), 1:12; Bouchard, Min (tripping), 19:22.
Shots on goal--Chicago 10-8-4--22. Minnesota 7-10-8--25.
Missed Penalty Shot--Gaborik, Min, 7:22 first.
Power-play Opportunities--Chicago 0 of 2; Minnesota 1 of 3.
Goalies--Chicago, Thibault 22-16-7 (25 shots-23 saves). Minnesota, Roloson 15-10-7 (22-21).
A--18,568 (18,064). T--2:14.
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