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Cullen sparks Wild in 6-3 win over Price, Canadiens

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba checks Montreal Canadiens right wing Michael McCarron during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. Hannah Foslien / Associated Press

Matt Cullen scored his first goal of the season on his 41st birthday and added an assist during Minnesota’s three-goal first period, giving the sputtering Wild a welcome spark on the way to a 6-3 victory Thursday night over the Montreal Canadiens.

Matt Dumba and Tyler Ennis also scored to send struggling Canadiens goalie Carey Price into the first intermission with a 3-0 deficit.

READ MORE: Charles Hudon scores first two NHL goals as Canadiens rout Senators

Ryan Suter chipped in a second-period goal, and Jared Spurgeon scored on a power play for more insurance in the first minute of the third.

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Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund each had two assists and Marcus Foligno added an empty-net goal for the Wild, who have won six straight games against the Canadiens while outscoring them 25-9.

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Price, who stopped 21 shots by the Wild, gave up a staggering seven goals in the team’s last trip to Minnesota on Jan. 12.

READ MORE: Phillip Danault has two goals, two assists to lead Canadiens past Rangers

Brendan Gallagher scored twice and Andrew Shaw had one of two third-period goals for the Canadiens, who totalled 13 goals over their previous two games but still entered the night with the fourth-fewest goals per game (2.5) in the NHL.

Defence has been a problem for the Canadiens, too, with the third-most goals allowed per game (3.75) in the league coming into this game.

That’s despite the presence of Price, the five-time All-Star who was the Hart Trophy winner just three seasons ago as the MVP of the NHL.

— With files from The Associated Press

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