ST. PAUL, Minn. -Nick Schultz scored to snap a tie early in the third period, helping the Minnesota Wild rally from a sluggish start and beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2.

Pascal Dupuis added an insurance goal on a power play in the third and Branko Radivojevic got one even later for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom, subbing for a benched Manny Fernandez, shut out the Canucks over the final two periods.

Minnesota used two big officiating breaks to get back in the game on scores by Todd White and Brian Rolston (on a penalty shot), who is among the NHL leaders with 10 goals.

Ryan Kesler and Jan Bulis scored 51 seconds apart in the first period for Vancouver.

Fernandez, who has started all 12 games in the net and entered the night with a league-best .942 save percentage, was pulled after the first period for the second time this season.

Backstrom, a 28-year-old rookie who had spent most of his professional career playing in his native Finland, picked up his second NHL victory. The first came on Oct. 7 against Nashville after he allowed two goals over 40 minutes in a 6-5 win.

This time, Backstrom was better, smothering a wide-open shot on a Vancouver power play to make a nifty save in the second period and sustain the momentum the Wild gained at the end of the first when White knocked in Mikko Koivu’s shot with his skate.

Trailing by two and struggling to control the puck, Minnesota got the lift it needed when a review of White’s goal – initially waved off on the ice – reversed the original call and cut the lead to 2-1 with less than 15 seconds left before the first intermission.

Late in the second period, Rolston raced past Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick to win a 1-on-1 chase, tried a shot and then went sprawling on the ice after Fitzpatrick tripped him. A penalty shot was called, and Rolston – showing off his dangerous slap shot – smacked the puck from the top of the circles and sent it sailing past Roberto Luongo to tie the game at 2.

Luongo was in control until Rolston’s first-period power-play slap shot stung him around the neck and shoulder and sent him face down on the ice in pain. Luongo never recovered, finishing with 19 saves.

Fernandez was not sharp. Kesler, on a behind-the-net pass from Alexandre Burrows, sent a shot between Fernandez’s legs for the first score. Then Bulis, positioned perfectly between Wild defensemen Martin Skoula and Petteri Nummelin, sent in a rebound of Mattias Ohlund’s shot to give Vancouver a two-goal edge.

Notes: Rolston was named captain again for November, the sixth time in Minnesota’s six seasons that a player has been awarded the honor in consecutive months. The team has a tradition of rotating captains, instead of naming one for the entire season. … Luongo has played 13 of 14 games.

AP-ES-11-02-06 2240EST

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