Final - OT
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Koivu helps Wild to second straight shootout win

Oct 13, 2006 - 3:27 AM ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Back-to-back shootouts for the Minnesota Wild proved to be a blessing in disguise.

Mikko Koivu scored in a shootout as the Wild maintained their unblemished record with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Defenseman Kim Johnsson added two power-play goals for Minnesota (4-0-0), which has won a franchise-best seven straight home games, dating to last season.

"It is always fun to go out and shoot," Koivu said. "I still think it would be better for the team to win on real time. But still it is a fun way to end the game and when you get the extra point, it is always good."

On Tuesday, the Wild defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1, in a shootout after blue-liner Petteri Nummelin beat goaltender Roberto Luongo with a high backhander.

In this particular tiebreaker, Koivu was the hero.

After both teams came up empty in the first round and Washington's Alexander Semin was turned away by netminder Manny Fernandez to open the second round, Koivu faked right and shot left past goalie Brent Johnson to give Minnesota the advantage.

"I saw during the game, (Johnson) had a lot of saves by his glove and that is why I thought he might catch that wrist shot," Koivu said. "So that is why I tried to keep it low and go to my forehand. I have never played against Washington, so he didn't know me. I didn't know him. That is always tough."

"My momentum was carrying me and (Koivu) faked the shot and I went down," Johnson said. "My momentum was carrying me to my left and he just held onto it and made a really good fake. I wish my legs were about five inches longer, I would have had him. I spread out as much as I could, but he just put it in the empty side."

Fernandez, who finished with 24 saves, stopped Richard Zednik's attempt to seal the win, extending the Minnesota's best start in franchise history.

With the Wild facing a 2-1 deficit in the second session, Johnsson drew them even with his second power-play goal, a wrist shot that beat Johnson high to the left side off the rebound of a shot by Marian Gaborik 6:56 into the period.

Johnson made 36 saves for the Capitals, who were outshot, 38-26.

"We are disappointed," said Alexander Ovechkin, who had his shot stopped in the first round of the shootout. "But one point is one point. You never know when you are going to win a shootout or not. We lost the shootout. Minnesota, right now, is a pretty good team. We can beat this team, but we didn't score. Too bad we didn't win today."

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