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Wild extend dominance of Canadiens

Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal (12) celebrates after scoring a goal during the second period Tuesday, Dec. 11, against the Montreal Canadiens at Xcel Energy Center. Harrison Barden / USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Wild rode a dominant special teams performance to a 7-1 rout of the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The Wild were a perfect four-for-four on power play opportunities. Charlie Coyle also converted a short-handed goal 12:33 into the second period, pulling in front of the net for a backhand shot.

Matt Dumba scored twice on the power play, giving him 12 goals on the season. Dumba leads all NHL defensemen in scoring.

Zach Parise had a goal and two assists for the Wild, and Mikael Granlund also had a three-point night with three assists. Nino Niederreiter and Jared Spurgeon each had a goal and an assist, while Ryan Suter contributed two assists.

Much of the damage came in the second period, as the Wild scored four times in the final nine minutes. Eric Staal accounted for the Wild's only even-strength goal of the period, converting his own rebound at the 14:58 mark.

Minnesota last scored four goals in a period on Nov. 23 in a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The Wild then failed to hit the four-goal threshold in any of their next six games, leading to five losses in that stretch.

Much of that slump coincided with a cold streak for Devan Dubnyk, but the Wild goaltender rebounded with a strong effort on Tuesday, stopping 29 of 30 Montreal shots.

Jeff Petry scored the Canadiens' lone goal at 2:41 of the third period.

Antti Niemi allowed all seven goals on just 24 shots before being replaced by regular goalie Carey Price in the third period. It was Niemi's first action in eight games.

Montreal had its three-game winning streak snapped and allowed seven goals in a game for the first time since Jan. 12, 2017. That game was also against Minnesota, underscoring the one-sided nature of the recent history between the two teams.

The Wild have now won their last eight games against the Canadiens, outscoring them 35-10.

The victory kicked off a four-game homestand for the Wild, who next host the Florida Panthers on Thursday. The Canadiens begin a three-game homestand of their own on Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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