Production from some unlikely sources have the Minnesota Wild winning by the slimmest of margins. They'd like to take advantage of the worst defensive team in the Eastern Conference to continue their roll.
Coming off another one-goal victory, the Wild will try to re-establish their dominance of the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night.
Minnesota (7-4-2) has won four of five with all of the victories coming by one goal, including three straight for the club's longest winning streak this season.
Burns scored twice on the power play before Clutterbuck found the net for the second consecutive game in a 3-2 win at Columbus on Saturday to open a four-game road trip.
Burns currently leads the Wild with five goals, one more than Clutterbuck. Burns managed three goals in 47 games last season, while Clutterbuck had a career-high 13 in 74 contests.
"I'd like to say a blind squirrel gets the nut every once in a while," Burns said Saturday. "I'm just shooting the puck. I don't think I'm doing anything different. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they hit a shin pad -- usually they do that. I'm just trying to work on getting shots through."
Burns has one goal and four assists in four meetings while Clutterbuck has an assist in his only game against Atlanta (6-6-3).
Captain Mikko Koivu is also adding some scoring punch, setting up two goals against the Blue Jackets to give him a team-leading 14 points. The center has five points in the last five games, including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Washington on Oct. 28.
Koivu has five assists in four games against the Thrashers, getting two in a 3-2 home loss on Feb. 12.
Despite that defeat, Minnesota holds a commanding 6-1-1 advantage with a tie in the all-time series, including 3-0-1 at Philips Arena.
Backstrom is 5-1-1 with a 1.41 goals-against average and a shutout in his last seven games. He's 1-1-1 with a 2.29 GAA versus the Thrashers with the win coming in Atlanta in 2008.
The Thrashers have allowed an East-high 56 goals, including 13 during a three-game slide. They given up fewer than three goals in a game twice this season, most recently in a 4-2 win on Oct. 16 at San Jose.
Atlanta's defensive woes continued with a 5-2 loss Tuesday at Ottawa. Chris Mason was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 18 shots before Ondrej Pavelec gave up one on 11 chances.
"We were trying to give the boys a wake-up call," first-year Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay said. "I told everyone to pat him on the back as he's been battling for us, and now it's your job to turn it around."
Mason, who may be back in net, is 3-3-1 with a 4.23 GAA in his last seven games. He has a 2.56 GAA and a shutout while winning three of his last five meetings with Minnesota, but those came with St. Louis.
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