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Associated Press, Published March 10 2013

Minnesota Wild double up Oilers

ST. PAUL – Zach Parise had two goals and an assist, Niklas Backstrom had 25 saves and the Minnesota Wild beat Vancouver 4-2 Sunday night to move into a first-place tie with the Canucks.

Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild, who won their fourth straight home game and beat their Northwest Division rivals for the first time this season.

Cory Schneider made 28 saves, and Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins scored for the Canucks, who fell to 1-3-2 in their past six games.

The Wild needed only 24 seconds to take the lead when Parise kicked off a contentious first period with his 10th goal. Things got testy with a slew of roughing, fighting and unsportsmanlike conduct calls midway through the period that saw eight total players in the penalty box at the same time.

Cal Clutterbuck had to be restrained in the box when he saw Alex Burrows took a few swings at Wild captain Mikko Koivu – over the head of the referee separating them.

A minute later, Mike Rupp flipped Tom Sestito’s helmet to the ice before throwing him down as the two fought.

Minnesota ended up killing two consecutive power plays and went up 2-0 when Matt Cullen slipped a pretty pass to Zucker in front of the net at 18:31.

Spurgeon’s second-period goal made it 3-0 before Higgins’ one-timer from the right circle found its way through Backstrom’s pads to make it 3-1 at 7:51.

The Canucks pulled to 3-2 early in the third but then Parise added his second goal to seal it

Vancouver 0 1 1 – 2

Minnesota 2 1 1 – 4

First period: 1, Minnesota, Parise 10 (Koivu, Spurgeon), :24. 2, Minnesota, Zucker 4 (Cullen, Stoner), 18:31.

Second period: 3, Minnesota, Spurgeon 3 (Suter, Parise), 4:12 (pp). 4, Vancouver, Higgins 7 (Alberts), 7:51.

Third period: 5, Vancouver, H.Sedin 6 (Garrison, Booth), 1:02. 6, Minnesota, Parise 11 (Suter, Coyle), 6:29.

Shots on Goal – Vancouver 12-7-8 – 27. Minnesota 11-11-10 – 32.

Goalies: Vancouver, Schneider. Minnesota, Backstrom. A – 18,846 (17,954). T – 2:28.