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Wild Improve Playoff Chances With 4-1 Win Over Canadiens

MONTREAL (AP) — Mikael Granlund scored twice, Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves and the Minnesota Wild beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Saturday night.

Nino Niederreiter opened the scoring for Minnesota and Erik Haula added an empty-netter.

Mark Barberio scored for Montreal in the first period. Mike Condon stopped 18 of 21 shots.

The Wild entered in ninth place in the Western Conference and improved their chances of clawing into the postseason.

Granlund scored his first goal with 6:40 left in the first period for a 2-1 lead, and then got his second goal on a power play 11:49 into the second period.

Minnesota opened the scoring midway through the first period when Niederreiter capitalized on a weak passing attempt by Condon, who found himself far from his net.

The Canadiens evened the score less than 2 minutes later when Barberio scored his second of the season on a quick rebound from Sven Andrighetto.

The Canadiens were coming off a two-game winning streak as well as a run of success at home, having gone 7-1-1 at the Bell Centre since the beginning of February.

They had to play without star defenseman P.K. Subban, who had to be stretchered off the ice with what was later described as a "non-serious neck injury" during a 3-2 win Thursday night against Buffalo.

The Canadiens fielded a young squad, calling up rookies Charles Hudon and Darren Dietz from the American Hockey League's St. John's IceCaps to fill their depleted lineup. The team added Lars Eller (flu) and Stefan Matteau (lower body) to a long list of missing players that already includes Subban, Brendan Gallagher and goaltender Carey Price.

NOTES: Barberio took Subban's usual place next to Andrei Markov. ... Alex Galchenyuk, who was key to Montreal's last two wins, could not extend his scoring streak to four games. ... The Wild won the last matchup between these two teams, besting Montreal by a score of 2-1 on Dec. 22, 2015. The Wild next travel to play at Ottawa on Tuesday night. ... Montreal hosts Florida on Tuesday night.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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