ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Niklas Backstrom gave up a goal in the first 4 minutes Friday and then blanked Anaheim the rest of the way to bring the Minnesota Wild a 5-1 win over the Ducks.
Backstrom made 29 saves and benefited from outstanding play by Minnesota's special teams to help the Wild end a two-game skid. Minnesota had two power-play goals and scored one shorthanded.
The shorthanded goal came from Matt Cullen with 4:53 left in the first period and it gave Minnesota a 2-1 advantage. Eric Nystrom and Kyle Brodziak tallied 27 seconds apart in the middle period and Martin Havlat scored in the third.
The game marked the return of Minnesota defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who had missed 21 contests with a shoulder injury.
Anaheim has lost two straight following a four-game winning streak. The Ducks had won their previous six road games.
Curtis McElhinney took the loss, stopping 21-of-26 shots.