2 - 4 Final
  for this game

Wild chase Brodeur early, down Devils

Dec 3, 2011 - 4:10 AM
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Kyle Brodziak netted two goals as the Minnesota Wild took down the New Jersey Devils, 4-2, at Xcel Energy Center.

Dany Heatley and Casey Wellman also lit the lamp for the Wild, who notched their third straight win.

Niklas Backstrom stopped 7-of-9 shots in the first period for Minnesota but did not return for the second because of a lower body injury. Josh Harding entered in relief and stopped all 22 shots he faced.

Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk scored for New Jersey, which dropped its third consecutive game.

Martin Brodeur started in net for the Devils but was pulled 8:17 into the first period after allowing three goals on four shots.

It was Brodeur's second-shortest outing in his 19-year career. His shortest was an eight-minute start on January 1, 2011 against Carolina.

Johan Hedberg allowed one goal on 12 shots through the rest of regulation.

"That was tough. It seems like right now when we make mistakes it's in the back of our net," Parise said. "Mistakes are going to happen in the game, it's just right now they're going in the back of our net."

New Jersey struck just 2:54 into the contest when Andy Greene's slap shot from the left point was deflected in front by Parise and the puck slipped through Backstrom's legs.

But the Wild answered 20 seconds later when Heatley opted not to pass from a 2-on-1 break, and his shot from the right circle tipped off the glove of Brodeur, glanced off the right post and trickled into the net.

Brodziak broke the tie at the 6:55 mark by taking advantage of a Kovalchuk turnover at the Devils' blue line. After sweeping down the left wing, he took a shot from in front that was initially saved but then backhanded in his own rebound.

Minnesota won an offensive-zone faceoff less than two minutes later and Matt Cullen's one-timer was deflected by Wellman past Brodeur for a 3-1 lead, bringing Hedberg off the bench.

New Jersey made it a one-goal game at 13:59 on a Kovalchuk wrister from the top of the right circle that bounced off a Wild defender in front of the net and through Backstrom's pads.

After a scoreless second period, Brodziak put the game away late in the third when he broke down the ice on a breakaway and sent a wrister into the top- right corner with 3:36 left.

"We didn't execute too well, but we keep finding a way to get the job done," Wild defenseman Greg Zanon said.

Game Notes

The Wild improved to 10-4-1 at home this season, while the Devils fell to 7-7-0 on the road...Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck sat out the game with a thigh injury...New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus missed the game with a right ankle injury...Parise also had an assist in the game.