Zucker scores twice to lead Wild past Panthers

Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Jason Zucker’s seventh and eighth goals of
the season powered the Minnesota Wild to a 4-1 victory over the Florida
Panthers on Monday.

Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise also scored and Mikko Koivu supplied two
assists for Minnesota, which bounced back from Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa
Bay and has won five of its last six games.

Niklas Backstrom turned aside 29 shots in his first start since Nov. 16.

Shawn Thornton netted Florida’s lone goal and Roberto Luongo made 34 stops in

Zucker’s wrister from the right circle eluded Luongo to open the scoring
nearly six minutes into the game

Niederreiter later gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone and finished off
a breakaway by lifting a backhander over Luongo for a 2-0 Wild lead with 2:17
left in the first period.

Just over five minutes into the second, Thornton initially had a goal waved
off after the officials ruled it was knocked in with a high stick. However,
replay overturned the call for a good goal.

Zucker tallied his second goal of the night after he took the puck from the
left corner and backhanded a high shot over the glove of Luongo for a 3-1 lead
late in the second.

Parise buried an empty-net marker with 1:29 left in regulation to account for
the final score.

Game Notes

The Panthers lost in regulation to the Wild in South Florida for the first
time since Oct. 16, 2008 … Backstrom improved to 6-0-1 in seven career games
against the Panthers … Niederreiter now has eight points (seven goals and
one assist) in his last six games.