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Published: Sunday, 12/26/2010

Red Wings cruise to win over Wild

ST. PAUL — Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 Sunday night.

Daniel Cleary, Kris Draper, and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for Detroit, which won for just the second time in five games.

Brent Burns had a late power-play goal for Minnesota, which lost for the first time in four games.

The Red Wings recorded a pair of soft goals in the opening 9 minutes and were in control throughout. Detroit is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games in Minnesota.

From below the goal line on the left side, Zetterberg bounced a rebound off goaltender Niklas Backstrom and into the Wild net at 4:38. Cleary scored at 8:59 when his shot from below the right goal line deflected off Backstrom's skate and across the line.

Backstrom allowed just three goals during Minnesota's three-game winning streak.

Detroit allowed four goals in each of its past four games. But the Wild had just four first-period shots and didn't get its first of the second until nearly 5 minutes had elapsed. It had just five in the period and 17 in the game.

Draper made it 3-0 early in the second period when he fought off Clayton Stoner and tipped a harmless looking wrist shot by Niklas Kronwall past Backstrom. It was the first goal of the season for Draper, who missed the team's first 22 games following hernia surgery.

Kronwall had two assists to equal his total from the previous 12 games.

Holmstrom outmuscled Matt Cullen at the right post for a rebound goal at 13:50 of the second period, after Zetterberg drove the lane and fought off two Minnesota defensemen to get off a shot.

Jimmy Howard, who entered with 18 wins, one behind Montreal's Carey Price for the league lead, was rarely tested until Burns poked the puck past him with 3:40 to play.

NOTES: Zetterberg has seven points, including three goals, in his last three games. ... Johan Franzen has five goals and three assists in his last four games against Minnesota. ... Wild D Nick Schultz, who missed his third straight game with a possible concussion, could play Monday in Columbus. ... Detroit is also on the road Monday, at Colorado. ... Attendance for the game was 19,227, the fifth-largest regular-season crowd in Wild history.



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