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Rolston, Schultz shine as Wild defeat Canucks

Nov 3, 2006 - 4:08 AM ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Wild's perfect start at home was in jeopardy until captain Brian Rolston and defenseman Nick Schultz got involved.

Rolston scored the tying goal late in the second period and Schultz tallied early in the third as the Wild rallied for a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, extending their club-record home winning streak to 11 games.

Rookie goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who replaced Manny Fernandez after the first period, turned away all 19 shots he saw as Minnesota improved to 8-0-0 here this season.

The continuation of the Wild's unblemished home record at seemed a little bleak after the Canucks jumped to a 2-0 lead in the opening period.

"We had a brutal first period," Rolston said. "We started to get back on our heels. We weren't playing with confidence."

But Minnesota proved its resiliency to join the Buffalo Sabres and the Dallas Stars with 10 victories this season.

"The team responded," Backstrom said. "After the first period, they didn't get down, and played a good forty minutes."

After the puck deflected off the skate of Todd White and into the net for a controversial power-play goal with 15 seconds left in the first period, Rolston evened things up at 2-2 by beating Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo with a rare slap shot on a penalty shot late in the middle session.

It was Rolston's 10th goal of the season and eighth at home.

"It popped into my head, and I said 'why not give it a shot?' It was something that just came to me," Rolston said. "It was something that (coach) Jacques (Lemaire) had told me he wanted me to start trying."

"Not too many guys have a hard shot like (Rolston) does, and not too many guys have the confidence to unleash it," Lemaire said. "He (Luongo) definitely wasn't used to seeing that."

Luongo admitted the slap shot caught him off guard.

"That was the first I saw that," Luongo said. "He just got a piece of it and beat me. That's the bottom line. Not many guys are going to take a slapper from there."

In the third, Schultz put the Wild in front for good with a wrist shot from the left point with 15:29 remaining.

"It was tough when we got down 3-2," Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin said. "They are a tough team to play against when they have the lead."

Fernandez made nine saves for Minnesota, which went 3-for-5 with the man advantage.

Ryan Kesler scored his first goal of the season, Jan Bulis also tallied, and Luongo turned away 19 shots for Vancouver, which came away empty on six power-play opportunities.

"Our power play is not scoring," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "It has to find a way to do that. Besides that, I thought we played a pretty solid game at both ends of the rink."

"We're shooting the puck when we shouldn't and we're letting up on the shots when we should be taking them," Canucks center Henrik Sedin said. "We have to score on the power play to win games."

White was credited with his fourth goal of the campaign after Mikko Koivu's setup pass went off his skate and into the net with 15 seconds remaining in the opening period.

The goal was originally waived off after on-ice officials ruled White made a deliberate kicking motion on the puck. However, the tally was allowed after video review.

"I was just trying to stop it with my skate," White said. "I was skating away from the net, so I didn't know how I could kick it when I'm skating away from the net."

"We only saw one angle. From the angle we saw, we thought it was kicked in," Vigneault said. "Both referees thought it was kicked in, but I guess the five guys in Toronto (the league office) said it was a goal."

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