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Wild top Rangers; Race to playoffs down to final 10 games

Ryan Donato led the charge with a pair of goals.
Ryan Donato

After three straight losses and veteran winger Marcus Foligno questioning the team's heart, the Minnesota Wild came ready to play Saturday night and beat up the New York Rangers 5-2 to remain close behind Arizona in the wild-card race. 

Ryan Donato scored twice and Minnesota got goals from Eric Staal, Jared Spurgeon and J.T. Brown for just their second win at home in the last 11 games. 

"At the end of the day, when it comes game time there's not a lot of words being tossed around," Donato said, via ESPN. "I think it's just a call to action, we've got to make sure we come out and play hard. We didn't do our job against Dallas and we knew we really had to win this one."

The victory has the Wild up to 76 points, two behind Arizona for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference playoff race. 

Arizona gained a point Saturday night with a 3-2 overtime loss to Edmonton. 

Right behind Minnesota is Chicago (73 points) and Colorado (72 points), but both teams have 11 games remaining compared to 10 for the Wild and Arizona.

Jason Zucker might've avoided serious injury for the second time in the past week when was helped off the ice in the second period following a collision with ex-Gopher Brady Skjei. Zucker didn't put any weight on his right leg but wound up returning later in the game. 

"I haven't heard anything on not being able to play," head coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked about Zucker's status for Sunday's game against the New York Islanders.

A win Sunday will put the Wild in a tie with Arizona, who is idle before hitting the East Coast for four games this week. 

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