Cullen, Staal pace Wild’s 5-1 triumph
ST. PAUL — Matt Cullen and Eric Staal each scored twice and the Minnesota Wild beat Florida 5-1 Tuesday night, snapping the Panthers’ five-game winning streak.
Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves for Minnesota, which has won three of four games. Charlie Coyle added an empty-net goal and Jared Spurgeon had three assists. Zach Parise made his season debut for the Wild after missing the first 39 games while recovering from back surgery.
Staal had his fourth multi-goal game of the season in adding to his team lead with 17 goals. Cullen had his first multi-goal game since April 7, 2016, doubling his season output.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 14th goal for Florida. James Reimer stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced before leaving the game during the second period with an injury after Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Wild forward Mikael Granlund fell on him.
Harri Sateri made his NHL debut in replacing Reimer, allowing one goal on six shots. Reimer returned after 3:26 of game time and finished the second, but Sateri played the third and finished with 13 saves for the game.
Reimer was a big part of Florida’s winning streak. With Roberto Luongo out since Dec. 7 with a lower-body injury, Reimer had started 12 straight games for the Panthers and had shutouts in two of the past three games.
Cullen scored his first goal in 10 games to open the scoring in the first and Minnesota controlled the first two periods.
Florida had five of the game’s first six shots on goal, but the Wild peppered Reimer and Sateri for 40 minutes. After the Panthers’ opening shots, Minnesota had 31 of the next 35 shots and a 32-9 advantage in shots on goal after two periods.
The Wild’s 19 shots in the second was a team high for a single period this season.
NOTES: Florida F Radim Vrbata missed his third straight game with an illness. … Wild F Nino Niederreiter missed his fifth straight game with a lower-body injury, but he could possibly return to the lineup on Thursday. Niederreiter has been skating and is expected to join the team’s practice on Wednesday. … The Panthers have never won a game in regulation at the Xcel Energy Center. Florida is 0-9-2 in the building. … The Wild are 10-1-1 in their last 12 home games.
Panthers: Travel to Boston for a game against the Bruins on Thursday.
Wild: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.