ST. PAUL, Minn. — Eric Staal and Jordan Schroeder scored 39 seconds apart in the second period, Nino Niederreiter had two goals, and the Minnesota Wild overwhelmed Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens on their way to a 7-1 victory Thursday night.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 20 shots, missing the shutout by 9 seconds on Tomas Plekanec's power-play rebound, but he beat Price for the second time in three weeks. What began as a matchup of two All-Star goalies became an all-out blitz by the surging Wild.
Christian Folin, Jason Zucker and Ryan Suter also scored, Matt Dumba had three assists and Staal and Jared Spurgeon each set up a pair of goals. Price, who made 17 saves, was taunted by the "Sieve!" chant after Niederreiter's second score.
The last time Price allowed seven goals was against Pittsburgh on March 2, 2013. He fell to 9-7-3 in his last 19 starts and has allowed 26 goals over his last seven appearances.
The Wild improved to 17-2-4 over their last 23 games, outscoring their opponents 86-54 with four-plus goals in 10 of those games. Staal, Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund are each averaging one point per game during that span.
After Columbus stopped the Wild's 12-game winning streak here on Dec. 31, they've responded remarkably by picking up five points on a three-game California road trip and roaring to a 14-4 home record with this romp past the Canadiens. With Zach Parise finally getting in a groove and Charlie Coyle settling in on the other wing, Staal's line has been stellar of late.
The 32-year-old, in his first season with Minnesota, has already topped his 2015-16 goal total with 14. Over his last 14 games since Dec. 11, Staal has eight goals and 12 assists for the most points in the NHL during that span.
This was a season-high score for the Wild, but the Canadiens, believe it or not, lost 10-0 to the Blue Jackets on Nov. 4.
Dubnyk, the league leader in goals against average and save percentage, improved to 5-1-1 in his career against the Canadiens without having to sweat.
The Canadiens romped past Winnipeg the night before, with Al Montoya backstopping a 7-4 victory over the Jets to put Price in line for the rematch with despite Montoya's 5-0 career record against the Wild.
NOTES: This was the ninth time this season the Wild scored two goals a minute or less apart. ... The Wild have won five straight games against the Canadiens to raise their all-time record against them to 10-6-3. ... Staal has 21 goals and 20 assists in 44 career games against the Canadiens. ... Chris Terry played RW on the fourth line for Montreal, his first action in five games. Rookie Nikita Scherbak was scratched for the first time in four games since he was called up from the AHL last week following the broken hand suffered by Brendan Gallagher.
Montreal: The Canadiens return home to play New York on Saturday, their first meeting with the Rangers this season.
Minnesota: The Wild have back-to-back road games at division rivals Dallas and Chicago on Saturday and Sunday.