ST. PAUL, Minn., March 23 (UPI) -- Niklas Backstrom
made 33 saves en route to his first shutout of the season Saturday and Minnesota blanked San Jose 2-0 for a fifth straight win.
Backstrom was especially busy in the third period, turning aside all 19 shots he saw in holding off the Sharks for his 27th career whitewash.
Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon each found the net with Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter providing assists on both scores for the Northwest Division-leading Wild, who improved to 11-4-1 at home.
Antti Niemi stopped 22-of-24 shots for San Jose, which fell to 1-3-0 on a five-game road trip.
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