ST. PAUL (AP) -- Mike Vernon finally found the perfect opponent -- an expansion team that just can't seem to score.
The 37-year-old goalie notched his first shutout of the season, making 22 saves as the Calgary Flames beat the punchless Minnesota Wild 1-0 Wednesday night.
Vernon, 2-8-0 this season, earned his first shutout since Feb. 16, when he beat the New York Rangers while playing for Florida. The 18-year veteran has 24 career shutouts.
"It's really good to see. He's been through a lot the last few weeks," Flames coach Don Hay said. "It was what we needed."
With 373 career victories, Vernon, who entered the game with a 3.79 goals-against average this season, moved past Andy Moog for sole possession of seventh place on the NHL win list.
"I only had 20-some saves, but it's just as important for me to show I can do it, and also to give confidence to the team," Vernon said.
The Wild, who lost 2-0 to Colorado on Tuesday night, have been shut out three times in their last four games and five times in 16 games this season.
"I'm frustrated, but I don't think the players should really get upset," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "They're getting good chances, it's just not going in."
It was the third time the teams played each other in the last two weeks, and animosity was evident from the opening faceoff. Four major penalties were called in the first 10 minutes, and there were 44 penalty minutes through two periods.
"You feel like it's a playoff, and you get to know each other. If somebody hits you, usually you don't see them for a month," said Calgary's Valeri Bure, who scored the game's only goal on a second-period power play.
The Wild, who won the first two games against Calgary, will face the Flames again in two weeks.
"It's like college or something," Minnesota's Scott Pellerin said. "We play them every weekend. But they're a strong team and we've played some tough games already."
Manny Fernandez made 18 saves for the Wild.
Minnesota's Jeff Nielsen took the hardest hit of the night. He sustained a mild concussion and a bruised left shoulder when he was checked into the boards by Steve Smith in the first period. Nielson tried to get up after he crumpled to the ice, but fell and was helped off by a trainer.
Smith also sustained what Flames officials said was a probable concussion when he was hit by Pellerin with about five minutes left in the third period. Smith skated two more shifts before leaving the game and was scheduled to be evaluated Thursday.
Notes: The Wild have sold out all eight home games, and there are a combined 1,900 tickets left for the team's next five home games. ... The Wild's effort to build an amphitheater in suburban Burnsville got a boost on election night when that city's mayor was re-elected over an anti-amphitheater candidate. The $10 million amphitheater would be a way for the team to generate revenue in the offseason. ... Vernon was taken in the expansion draft by Minnesota from Florida, but traded the same day to Calgary for Dan Cavanaugh and an eighth-round pick in 2001. ... Wild defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn missed his third straight game because of a strained groin.
Calgary 0 1 0 --1
Minnesota 0 0 0 --0
First Period--None. Penalties--Cowan, Cal, major (fighting), 1:15; O'Donnell, Min, major (fighting), 1:15; Sekeras, Min (slashing), 5:36; Belak, Cal, major (fighting), 9:10; McKenna, Min, major (fighting), 9:10; Smith, Cal (boarding), 13:03.
Second Period--1, Calgary, Bure 2 (Savard, Stillman), 1:59 (pp). Penalties--Pellerin, Min (hooking), 1:18; Cowan, Cal (interference), 3:44; Gavey, Min, double minor (hooking, unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:00; Housley, Cal (hooking), 8:43; Bure, Cal (elbowing), 9:39; Wilm, Cal (roughing), 14:09; Sutton, Min, double minor (elbowing, roughing), 14:09; Belak, Cal (high-sticking), 17:58.
Third Period--None. Penalty--Sutton, Min (interference), 4:22.
Shots on goal--Calgary 7-7-5--19. Minnesota 6-6-10--22.
Power-play Opportunities--Calgary 1 of 6; Minnesota 0 of 5.
Goalies--Calgary, Vernon 2-7-0 (22 shots-22 saves). Minnesota, Fernandez 2-3-1 (19-18).
Referees--Marc Joannette, Scott Zelkin. Linesmen--David Brisebois, Brian Mach.
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