Cullen scores 2 goals to lead Wild in big win over Panthers
ST. PAUL—Matt Cullen and Eric Staal each scored two goals, and Jared Spurgeon had three assists to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Devan Dubnyk had 25 saves and Charlie Coyle also scored for Minnesota, which won for the third time in four games and snapped Florida's season-high, five-game winning streak.
James Reimer stopped 23 of 26 shots and backup Harri Sateri stopped 13 of 14 for Florida (17-17-5). The Panthers were outshot 41-26, including 32-11 in the first two periods.
Minnesota (21-16-3) took a 1-0 lead at 14:21 of the first period when Cullen knocked in a rebound of a Spurgeon slap shot from the left side of the net. Reimer, fighting around a screen by Wild forward Marcus Foligno, did the splits and barely got a skate on Spurgeon's shot, but the rebound went straight to Cullen, who quickly poked it into the net.
Cullen, the Minnesota native and former Moorhead High standout who entered the contest with just two goals in 38 games, got his second goal of the night at 1:56 of the second period. He scored on a double redirect of a Gustav Olofsson shot from the blue line that was first deflected by Foligno in the slot. The puck fell toward Cullen, who redirected it again past Reimer from the right side of the net for his 699th career point.
Cullen made a move to the Wild this season after winning Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Staal then made it 4-0 with a pair of goals in a 2:39 span late in the middle period. The first came on a rebound in front of the net of another Spurgeon slap shot against Sateri, who briefly replaced Reimer while the starter was looked at in the locker room, and the second off a nice pass from Tyler Ennis while cutting alone in front of the net.
Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 14th goal of the season and fifth in five games off a crossing pass from Vincent Trocheck early in the third period to spoil Dubnyk's chance at a fourth shutout this season.
Coyle concluded the scoring with his third goal of the season, into an empty net with 3:05 to go.