for this game

Wild stay unbeaten with triumph over Blue Jackets

Oct 15, 2006 - 2:50 AM ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Brian Rolston is a big reason why the Minnesota Wild are off to a tremendous start this season.

Rolston scored two goals and added an assist to help lift the Wild to a 5-0 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets for their fifth straight victory to open the season.

Minnesota's Mikko Koivu had a goal and assist, while Manny Fernandez made 24 saves to record his 12th career shutout.

"It's been a little bit different every game," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said of his club's streak. "At the beginning, the offense was there. We got things going on the power play. Tonight I thought was our best game. We worked hard, we played tight and didn't let up on them."

Fernandez was not tested very often en route to the shutout, thanks to Minnesota's stingy defensive play.

"For us to come out and not give them anything in the third period with that lead is unbelievable," Fernandez said. "It's easy to come out and go through the motions and still win this game, but it's another to keep tight. It's a good test for us and leaves a mark for the next time we see them."

Rolston gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 17:22 of the first period and later assisted on Marian Gaborik's goal early in the second session to make it 3-0.

"I thought we played a great hockey game tonight," Rolston said. "That's a skilled hockey team over there and we came and we worked hard. ... I knew if we worked hard, we could stop those guys. I don't think we gave them much at all. I think we stayed disciplined, and did a good job killing (penalties). Our power play was there again tonight, and that's a recipe for success."

Columbus had its two-game winning streak halted after getting off to a sluggish start and never getting into gear.

"We did not play a complete game tonight," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "We started to get cute in the neutral zone and started making turnovers and a team like this feeds off that. (Rick) Nash had two great chances early in the game and hit the crossbar on one shot. After the first goal, they kept coming and then we started to take some penalties and that really hurt us."

Rolston scored his second tally of the night 3:43 into the third period on the power play to give the Wild a 5-0 advantage.

Minnesota went 2-for-7 with the man advantage and is 10-for-30 (33.3 percent) this season.

Columbus netminder Pascal Leclaire allowed four goals on 18 shots before being replaced by Fredrik Norrena at 14:03 of the second period. Norrena finished with 11 saves in his NHL debut.






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