Kevin Woodley – NHL.com Correspondent
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Canucks rookie defenseman Alex Biega scored in his first NHL game with 8:06 left, which turned out to be the game-winning goal, to help the Canucks defeat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 at Rogers Arena on Monday.
Biega, who was called up Monday morning from the Utica Comets in the American Hockey League and got into the game only after Christopher Tanev was a late scratch, beat Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk through the legs with a screened one-timer from the point to make it 3-1.
Bo Horvat scored the go-ahead goal 1:33 into the third period to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead before Biega’s goal.
Eddie Lack made 19 saves and Henrik Sedin also scored for the Canucks (32-21-3), who have won three of the past four games to move into a second place tie with the Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. It also put Vancouver four points ahead of the Wild, who are three points out of the second Western Conference wild card spot.
Minnesota forward Nino Niederreiter scored his second goal of the game with 6:25 left but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Wild (28-21-7) from losing in regulation for the first time in almost a month.
Niederreiter chipped a shot from the slot in off the right shoulder of Lack. But with Dubnyk on the bench for an extra attacker, Lack made a trio of huge saves during a scramble in the final 30 seconds to preserve the win, robbing Jason Pomminville, Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund from point-blank range.
Dubnyk stopped 26 shots in his career-high 14th straight start, but lost in regulation for the second time since coming to Minnesota in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14. Dubnyk was 10-1-1 with the Wild, and 8-0-1 since the All-Star break.
Dubnyk got a piece of Jannik Hansen’s point shot through traffic, but the puck squirted out behind him and Horvat dove head first to knock it in before Dubnyk could recover. It was third goal and fifth point in the past six games for Horvat, and extended his point streak to four games.