VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 6 (UPI) -- Cliff Ronning scored twice in a five-goal second period Monday night as Minnesota buried Vancouver, 7-2, in Game Five of the Western Conference semifinals.
The Wild, facing playoff elimination, remained perfect in that situation with the rout.
Jason Marshall, Andrew Brunette, and Marian Gaborik also struck in the second for Minnesota, which never had scored more than six goals in a game in its three-year history. The Wild improved to 4-0 when facing elimination, and will host Game Six on Wednesday.
"We're a better team when we're desperate," Brunette said. "We might be better when we're down. I think when desperation creeps into our game plan, we know we have to be very good, especially in front of the net, and bury our chances."
Trent Klatt set up both goals for Vancouver, which lost for just the second time in its last eight games.
A high-sticking penalty on Vancouver captain Markus Naslund gave Minnesota a power play that carried into the second period.
Ronning, a former Canuck who was benched in Game Three, put the Wild ahead for good at the 1:08 mark when he fired a slap shot from above the right faceoff circle past goaltender Dan Cloutier, who was screened by Brunette.
"When they scored on the power play, it was a turning point," Naslund said. "I felt we started to get a little momentum in the late part of the first, but the power play turned everything around."
Alex Auld started the third period after Cloutier surrendered six goals on 21 shots.
Minnesota was held without a shot for the first half of the final period, but Walz beat Auld on a shorthanded breakaway to cap the scoring with 3:40 left.