ST. PAUL (AP) -- Trevor Linden helped the Vancouver Canucks out of another jam.
The Canucks took too many penalties and played a lackluster game, but Linden's franchise-record 263rd goal and Dan Cloutier's goaltending led them to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
The victory was Vancouver's seventh straight, and it required killing nine penalties and fending off a furious Wild rally at the end of the game.
"I think everybody leaves the rink tonight thinking it certainly wasn't our best performance," said Linden, whose short-handed goal at 5:58 of the third proved to be the game-winner. "We took too many penalties, but Dan was great again."
Linden passed former teammate Stan Smyl on the Canucks' all-time scoring list. He has scored 320 goals in his 15 NHL seasons, 12 of them with Vancouver.
Linden took advantage of a giveaway by Minnesota's Cliff Ronning in the neutral zone. He broke in alone and flipped a backhander over Manny Fernandez's leg. The goal gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead.
Minnesota's Andrew Brunette scored his 10th goal with 4:59 to play to cut the deficit in half, and the Wild had an opportunity to tie it on the power-play in the final three minutes. But Cloutier, who made 27 saves, was able to preserve the victory, which moved the Canucks to within two points of the Northwest Division-leading Wild.
"It's pretty exciting when you're playing for the stakes we are playing for at this point," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said.
The victory marked the second time this season that the Canucks have come to Minnesota and ended a hot streak for their division rival. Minnesota was on a 5-0-1 run when the Canucks won 4-2 at Xcel Energy Center Nov. 2. This time, Vancouver snapped Minnesota's 3-0-2 streak.
That win started the Canucks on a streak of their own -- dating to that game, Vancouver has won nine of 10 games.
"On the one hand, it's frustrating," Minnesota's Sergei Zholtok said of the two losses to Vancouver. "But it's something we look at as a challenge. We're going to see them again this season and we're looking forward to it."
Henrik Sedin scored a power-play goal at 4:44 of the first period, ending a 23-game scoreless streak.
Vancouver 1 0 1 -- 2
Minnesota 0 0 1 -- 1
First Period--1, Vancouver, H.Sedin 1 (Morrison, Jovanovski), 4:44 (pp). Penalties--Cooke, Van (hooking), 1:57; Park, Min (high-sticking), 4:36; Langdon, Van (interference), 5:56; H.Sedin, Van (interference), 14:43; Dupuis, Min (ob.-hooking), 17:10; Cooke, Van (holding stick), 19:53
Second Period--None. Penalties--Morrison, Van (cross-checking), 13:40; Laaksonen, Min (high-sticking), 19:59.
Third Period--2, Vancouver, Linden 4 (Salo), 5:58 (sh). 3, Minnesota, Brunette 10 (Brown), 15:01. Penalties--Gaborik, Min (tripping), 2:30; D.Sedin, Van (boarding), 4:22; Naslund, Van (hooking), 8:36; Bertuzzi, Van (interference), 11:20; Morrison, Van (ob.-holding), 17:33.
Shots on goal--Vancouver 7-5-5--17. Minnesota 9-11-8--28.
Power-play Opportunities--Vancouver 1 of 4; Minnesota 0 of 9.
Goalies--Vancouver, Cloutier 12-5-3 (28 shots-27 saves). Minnesota, Fernandez 7-4-1 (17-15).
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