Wild
Canucks
5 - 2 Final
  for this game

Gaborik scores twice as Wild halt Canucks' winning streak

Jan 12, 2007 - 7:20 AM
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- On paper, there was no doubt as to who would win the matchup between the Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks. Marian Gaborik helped show why the game is played on the ice.

Gaborik scored his first two goals in nearly three months and Brian Rolston added a tally and two assists as the Wild halted a seven-game regulation losing streak on the road with a 5-2 triumph over the Canucks, who had won seven straight.

Entering with an eight-game home winning run, Vancouver fell into a hole of which it was unable to climb out, allowing the first three goals before getting on the scoreboard. Gaborik opened the scoring with his first tally since October 18 and Rolston netted his 22nd of the season to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead after one period.

"They went up, 2-0, and when they get the lead, they are a tough team to play against," Vancouver captain Markus Naslund said. "Against a disciplined team like Minnesota, I think we were making too many turnovers, and it cost us."

Winless in their previous 11 road games (0-10-1), the Wild increased the advantage 4 1/2 minutes into the middle session as Branko Radivojevic scored his sixth goal of the campaign, four of which have come against the Canucks.

Taylor Pyatt and former Minnesota defenseman Willie Mitchell tallied less than three minutes apart midway through the period to cut the deficit to one. But Gaborik netted his second of the night in his third game back from a strained groin early in the third and Wes Walz added an insurance goal later in the session.

"It's very important for myself to come back, and also for the team," said Gaborik, who missed 34 games with the injury. "It was good to be back after two months and get those first goals, but the biggest thing is to get that win on the road. Hopefully, this is going to be the start of a way we start winning on the road. I'm happy to be back and I feel good."

Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two assists and Manny Fernandez made 24 saves for the Wild, who improved their league-worst road record to 5-15-1.

"In order to win, you've got to make some key saves, and tonight it was a great team effort," Fernandez said. "Obviously, guys around me were there for rebounds and there to break up key plays, which a lot of times would have led to a goal."

"Break out the champagne," Rolston joked of the Wild's first road win since November 16 at Nashville.

Even Canucks center Brendan Morrison was aware of Minnesota's struggles away from home.

"That's a hungry team," he said. "They haven't been good on the road at all. I'm sure they were challenged, and they played well."

Roberto Luongo stopped 33 shots for Vancouver, which fell at home for the first time since December 4.

"Obviously, nobody wants to lose," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "We had a good thing going here for a while. We kind of let up here for two periods. We played one period here tonight. It's kind of tough to win a game when you do that."

Gaborik made it 1-0 with a power-play goal 3:09 into the game and Rolston buried a rebound from alone on the right side of the net with 7:24 left in the first to give the Wild a two-goal bulge.

Rolston, who also set up Gaborik's first tally, made a pass from the left faceoff circle to Radivojevic, who redirected it past Luongo from the doorstep at 4:28 of the second for a 3-0 cushion.

However, Pyatt ended a 12-game drought with a tap-in at 11:55 and Mitchell deflected Naslund's shot by Fernandez 2:38 later for his first goal since December 13, 2005, drawing the Canucks within a tally.

"We played better in the second, had some momentum going into the third, but they came out and had a great third," Morrison said. "They got on us early, forcing guys, forcing turnovers, and we didn't make enough smart plays."

In the third, Gaborik flicked a shot through a crowd in front at 5:17 and Walz slid a backhander around a sprawled Luongo after a partial breakaway with 6:23 left to seal the victory.

"We've been a little fragile on the road, and when they got two goals back, they were one shot away from tying the game," Rolston said. "But we came out in the third period and made sure they didn't.

"Wes Walz said that we have to go out and continue to force, and that's something that we did. We didn't sit back, like we have in previous games and let the team back in the game."

With the victory, the Wild raised their record to 4-1-0 against the Canucks this season.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 2 1 2 5
    VANCOUVER 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 5 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PAVOL DEMITRA)
    3:09
    MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 22 (KEITH CARNEY, TODD WHITE) 12:36
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC 6 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:28
    VAN - TAYLO

    Jan 12 12:30 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 5
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - WES WALZ 6 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, NICK SCHULTZ) 13:37

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 12 12:16 AM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 4
    VANCOUVER 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 6 (PAVOL DEMITRA, KIM JOHNSSON) 5:17

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 12 12:01 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 2 1 3
    VANCOUVER 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 5 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PAVOL DEMITRA)
    3:09
    MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 22 (KEITH CARNEY, TODD WHITE) 12:36
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC 6 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:2

    Jan 11 11:37 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    VANCOUVER 2
    2ND PRD: VAN - WILLIE MITCHELL 1 (MARKUS NASLUND, KEVIN BIEKSA) 14:33

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 11 11:24 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    VANCOUVER 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - TAYLOR PYATT 10 (RYAN KESLER, JAN BULIS) 11:55

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 11 11:18 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    VANCOUVER 0
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC 6 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:28

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 11 11:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 2 2
    VANCOUVER 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 5 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PAVOL DEMITRA)
    3:09
    MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 22 (KEITH CARNEY, TODD WHITE) 12:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 13

    Jan 11 10:41 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    VANCOUVER 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 22 (KEITH CARNEY, TODD WHITE) 12:36

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 11 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    VANCOUVER 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 5 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PAVOL DEMITRA)
    3:09

    Wild vs. CanucksJan 11 10:14 PM