Mark Howe scored his first two goals of the season for Hartford against visiting Minnesota.

The Whalers opened a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by defensemen Blake Wesley and Howe. Wesley powered a 40-foot slap shot past Minnesota goalie Gilles Meloche at 3:25 and Howe connected on a 50-foot shot from the right point at 10:28.

Goalie John Garrett, who stopped 33 shots, was forced to leave early in the first period when the blade of his skate broke. Greg Millen replaced Garrett for nearly seven minutes but did not face a shot.

Jordy Douglas extended the Whalers' lead to 3-0 at 13:40 of the second period when he redirected a shot from the point by Paul Shmyr on a power play.

Howe, who missed four games with a shoulder injury, raised Hartford's lead to 4-0 just 57 seconds into the third period. Howe took a pass from Garry Howatt and fired a 35-foot wrist shot past Meloche.

Mike Eaves spoiled Garrett's shutout at 4:38 when he converted on a rebound of a Brad Maxwell shot. Al MacAdam cut the margin to 4-2 at 16:55.