SUNRISE - A 3-point night from Eric Staal led the Minnesota Wild to a 7-4 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

The Wild win helped them avoid a three game losing streak, and expanded their Central Division lead to 3 points after the Blackhawks lost to Detroit.

Jason Zucker opened the scoring early in the 1st period with a deflection off a Jonas Brodin shot. The tip pushed the puck right over the shoulder of Panthers goaltender James Reimer.

Florida responded with 2 goals of its own against slumping Wild back-up Darcy Keumper.

Keumper would be pulled to start the third, but not before the Panthers slipped two more goals behind him.

For a short while in the 2nd period the Wild took a lead 3-2 when Jason Pominville scored. The lead was short lived as future hall-of-famer Jaromir Jagr scored a minute later.

Florida scored early in the 3rd but the Wild responded with 4 straight goals winning 7-4.

Next up for the Wild is a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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