for this game

Gaborik, Fernandez help Wild establish franchise road record

Jan 20, 2007 - 5:31 AM
CHICAGO (Ticker) -- All the signs pointed to another loss for the Chicago Blackhawks. Marian Gaborik and Manny Fernandez followed the directions to a tee.

Gaborik recorded his third two-goal performance in five games and Fernandez made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Minnesota Wild posted their franchise-high fourth straight road win, a 3-0 victory over the woeful Blackhawks.

Entering with a six-game home losing streak and a seven-game overall slide, Chicago also was in the midst of a six-game skid against Minnesota. All three negative trends continued as Gaborik and Fernandez combined to complete a sweep of the four-game season series for the Wild.

"It's a lot of things, I think," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said of his team's success against Chicago. "I think we have a little confidence against them, but we know they are a good team."

"We beat them in the shootout a few times, and when a game gets to that point, anybody can win," Wild All-Star center Brian Rolston said. "They are a good team, but tonight we just played hard and played a good, solid road hockey game."

Gaborik kicked things off in the waning moments of the first period with his sixth goal in five games. After Stephane Veilleux doubled Minnesota's lead in the middle session, Gaborik tallied again 2 1/2 minutes into the third to extend the Wild's road winning streak.

"The season is half over and we have to keep winning," Veilleux said. "It seems like everyone else in our division is winning, so we also have to win. Just winning at home is not enough."

Fernandez was not overly active, turning aside eight shots in the first, seven in the second and nine in the third en route to his 12th career blanking. The netminder improved to 10-4-0 with two shutouts in 17 career games against Chicago.

"He played great for us tonight," Rolston said. "He didn't make any mistakes."

"I can't go out there and play for them," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "I can't go out there and work for them. They have to get it together and play better. ... They played with more will than we did."

Brian Boucher made 23 saves for the Blackhawks, who were shut out for the fifth time this season.

"It was nice to play, but it isn't any fun when you're losing," said Boucher, who made his first start since December 9 - also against Minnesota. "Right now, that's what we have around here. They're a hard-working team and they have great forwards. They feast on turnovers, and that's how they beat us tonight. We had turnovers on their first two goals."

With 25 seconds remaining in the opening period, Gaborik outraced a defender to a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated in on a breakaway, sliding the puck between the pads of Boucher for his 10th goal of the season.

"I was in my spot in our zone, then I saw their player pass it back to their D-man and the puck got past him," Gaborik said. "So I just took off because he was flat-footed, and things worked out well."

Veilleux ended a 10-game drought midway through the second, receiving a pass by Mikko Koivu from the low slot and beating Boucher from just below the left faceoff circle at 11:03 for a 2-0 lead.

Wes Walz, who had scored in two straight games and three of four, made a nifty play to set up the final tally. After carrying down the slot, Walz made a drop pass to Gaborik, who buried a shot at 2:39 for a three-goal bulge.

"We got a good forecheck on them," Gaborik said. "I tried to do that and then get skating and be creative. I was able to do that."

Following their seventh straight home loss, the Blackhawks exited the ice to a chorus of boos from the crowd at the United Center.

"Our effort was unacceptable, and the fans know it," Savard said. "We deserved exactly what we got."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1 1 3
    CHICAGO 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 10 (UNASSISTED) 19:35
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (MIKKO KOIVU) 11:03
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 11 (WES WALZ, BRENT BURNS) 2:39
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: MIN - 0 OF 3, CHI - 0 OF 3.
    SHOTS

    Jan 19 10:52 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    CHICAGO 0
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 11 (WES WALZ) 2:39

    Wild vs. BlackhawksJan 19 10:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2
    CHICAGO 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 10 (UNASSISTED) 19:35
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (MIKKO KOIVU) 11:03
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 8 7 15
    CHI 8 7

    Jan 19 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    CHICAGO 0
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 6 (MIKKO KOIVU) 11:03

    Wild vs. BlackhawksJan 19 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1
    CHICAGO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 10 (UNASSISTED) 19:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 8 8
    CHI 8 8
    GOALIES: MIN - MANNY FERNANDEZ
    CHI - BRIAN BO

    Jan 19 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1
    CHICAGO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 10 (UNASSISTED) 19:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 8 8
    CHI 8 8
    GOALIES: MIN - MANNY FERNANDEZ
    CHI - BRIAN BO

    Wild vs. BlackhawksJan 19 9:09 PM