ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With the score tied early in the third period, Minnesota Wild forward Justin Fontaine took a hard hit from Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne.
Fontaine was knocked to the ice and briefly went to the locker room. But he set up a goal on his next shift, and the Wild scored three times in an eight-minute span to defeat the Flames 4-2 at Xcel Energy Center on Friday.
"I was pretty riled up by it," Fontaine said. "I didn't think it was the cleanest hit, but sometimes you come back and it motivates you and kind of get you going. Coming off the bench, I let him hear it a little bit."
The Wild (43-25-7) are three points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Minnesota trails the Chicago Blackhawks by one point for third place in the Central Division. Chicago, which has one game in hand, lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Friday.
The Flames are three points behind the Jets and six behind the Wild; Calgary has four games remaining on its road trip.
"They were dominant tonight, we have to give them credit," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Right from the first drop of the puck, they dominated us. They controlled the entire game."
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves for the Wild, who swept the three-game season series against the Flames, allowing a total of three goals.
The hit on Fontaine charged the Wild, who dominated play much of the game, especially in the second period, when they did everything but finish a number of Grade A opportunities.
Fontaine was slow to get up and went down the tunnel for a couple of moments but didn't miss a shift. His next time over the boards, he made a cross-crease pass to Thomas Vanek, who swatted the puck past Flames goaltender Karri Ramo, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead.
"First off, I was happy to see him back because he's playing some great hockey right now," Vanek said. "And then to set it up … I think felt pretty good for him."
It was Vanek's 20th goal of the season; he has scored at least 20 goals in each of his 10 NHL seasons. His eight-game point streak ended Tuesday against the New York Islanders, but he has scored six goals in his past 10 games and his 50 points are second-most on the Wild (Zach Parise, 58).
"Twenty is a great mark, it the first mark as a goal-scorer you want to hit every year," Vanek said. "It was a struggle early on but I think I've stayed positive all year long and keep working and helping out my teammates. After Christmas, I really think my game has been trending the right way."
Calgary (40-28-7) took a 1-0 lead at 5:52 of the first period off a scramble in front. A loose puck near the top of the crease came free to forward Josh Jooris near the left post, where he tucked a shot under Dubnyk's arm.
Minnesota tied it on a power-play goal by defenseman Matt Dumba. He received a pass from forward Mikael Granlund near the left faceoff dot and took a shot toward Ramo. The puck went under his arm but remained in the crease, where Dumba reached around Ramo and poked it into the net at 10:28.
"I really like the way we responded after they scored the first goal," Yeo said. "We didn't panic and we just kept going with our game."
Vanek's goal at 3:36 was the first of three consecutive for the Wild.
Mikko Koivu made it 3-1 at 6:59, scoring on a Chris Stewart centering feed from the right half-wall, and Parise capped a breakaway with his 30th at 11:46, driving Ramo from the game.
This is the sixth 30-goal season for Parise in the NHL, his first with Minnesota after five with the New Jersey Devils. He is the fourth player in Wild history to reach 30 in a season (Marian Gaborik, Brian Rolston, Jason Pominville).
"It's a nice number to hit but I didn't keep the puck or anything," Parise said. "It's a short history. The team hasn't been around very long."
Ramo made 31 saves playing 51:46.
"He gave us a chance. That's what you want from a goalie," Hartley said. "We knew the Wild are a very good hockey club and we knew they would come at us and we needed a strong performance from our goaltender and we got it.
"I pulled him after four (goals) because Jonas [Hiller] hasn't played for a long time, just to get him in games. We have two great veterans, we just have to make sure we keep everybody going."
Markus Granlund scored for the Flames with 4:43 remaining.
Calgary plays at the Nashville Predators on Sunday.
Minnesota plays the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in the second game of a five-game homestand before four days off.