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Top line leads Wild to victory over Blues

Sep 22, 2006 - 2:56 AM ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Wild finally may have an offensive combination that strikes fear in the hearts of their opponents.

The duo of Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra combined for two goals and four assists, leading the Wild to a 5-2 preseason victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Since joining the NHL for the 2000-01 season, the Wild have concentrated mainly on defense under coach Jacques Lemaire, with their lone major offensive star being Gaborik. During the offseason, general manager Doug Risebrough vowed to change things, acquiring Demitra in a trade with Los Angeles and signing Mark Parrish and defenseman Kim Johnsson as free agents.

Demitra has made his mark early this preseason, scoring a goal in his first appearance and adding a tally and two assists Thursday. Gaborik also has benefited with the addition of his fellow Slovakian, scoring twice in his preseason debut before registering a goal and two assists in this one.

Brian Rolston netted a pair of power-play goals, defenseman Petteri Nummelin had a tally and an assist and Pierre-Marc Bouchard set up two goals for the Wild, who rested Parrish and Johnsson.

Josh Harding played the entire game for Minnesota, making 20 saves.

Keith Tkachuk and Lee Stempniak tallied for the Blues, who scratched Doug Weight, Bill Guerin and Martin Rucinsky.

Manny Legace allowed one goal on nine shots in his debut with St. Louis, which went 1-for-11 on the power play.

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