Wild Beat Flames 3-1, Win Division Title

Minnesota earns first-round home ice for playoffs
By Jamie Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2008 1:10 AM CDT
Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, right, makes the save as Wild's Kim Johnsson (5), and Eric Belanger (25) hold out Calgary Flames' Jarome Iginla, second from left, during their game tonight.   (AP Photo/A.J. Olmscheid)
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(Newser) – Marian Gaborik and the Minnesota Wild won the Northwest Division at home, and that's where they'll start the playoffs. Gaborik scored two third-period goals to help the Wild beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 tonight for the first division title in franchise-history. Minnesota's Jacques Lemaire also earned his 500th career victory. and became the 12th coach in NHL history to reach that mark.

It was quite a night at Xcel Energy Center, as Wild players gave their just-worn jerseys to contest winners after a loud celebration in the crowd to warm up the vocal chords for next week. Minnesota will be the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and have an extra home game for at least the first round.