for this game

Demitra, Gaborik help Wild spoil Forsberg's Predators debut

Feb 18, 2007 - 6:29 AM
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Not even Peter Forsberg could help wake the Nashville Predators' slumbering offense.

Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik each had a goal and an assist and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored on a penalty shot as the Minnesota Wild continued their success on the road with a 4-1 triumph over the Predators, who welcomed Forsberg to their lineup.

Acquired from Philadelphia on Thursday, Forsberg did not travel to St. Louis for Nashville's 1-0 loss a day later. The Swedish superstar made his debut with the Western Conference leaders in this one, but he was unable to supply offense to a team that has totaled just three goals in its last four losses.

"I wasn't that good today," Forsberg said. "I was just trying to pass a little too much. Maybe it's going to take me a few games to get into my regular game. ... There were a lot of things going on the past couple of days, and it was a little tough. I was trying to make it a little to complicated."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz disagreed with his newest acquisition's assessment of himself.

"Peter played well tonight," said Trotz, whose team fell one point behind Detroit for first place in the Western Conference. "He was outstanding on draws and he was hard on the puck. ... Peter is going to fit in great with us."

The Predators did grab a 1-0 lead, however, as J.P. Dumont tallied just over 9 1/2 minutes into the contest. But that was all Nashville could manage as goaltender Niklas Backstrom turned aside the final 23 shots he faced to improve to 6-1-2 in his last nine starts.

"We were really good on defense," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Nashville is a great team, they have a lot of talent and they move the puck well. If you are not alert, goodbye, it's in your net."

Demitra began Minnesota's run of four unanswered goals just 80 seconds into the middle session with a power-play tally. Gaborik put the Wild ahead for good with eight minutes to go in the period, and Bouchard created some breathing room with his penalty-shot goal late in the third.

"We were leading by one goal, so if I score, we are in good shape to win the game," Bouchard said.

Branko Radivojevic capped the win with an empty-netter for Minnesota, which has won eight of its last 10 road games after dropping 16 of its first 20 away from home.

"Getting wins on the road is really important," Demitra said. "We played a good road game tonight against a very skilled team."

"It was a huge win for our team," added Wild right wing Brian Rolston, who had two assists. "That win should give our team a lot of confidence, especially playing against such a good hockey team."

Tomas Vokoun made 18 saves for the Predators, who lost for just the second time in their last 10 home contests and fell to 7-2-3 all-time against the Wild at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.

"We have to fight through this," Trotz said of his team's scoring woes. "It's going to be a bit of a process. We have to make sure that our work ethic is high. We have three (more) games at home (in a row) starting Monday. These are must games."

Dumont opened the scoring at 9:38 of the first, one-timing a pass from behind the net by Jason Arnott past Backstrom for his third goal in five games.

But Demitra extended his goal-scoring streak to four games during a power play early in the second, knocking in the rebound of Mark Parrish's wrist shot from the blue line.

"We won the faceoff and I just went to the front of the net, picked up the rebound and was able to put it in," Demitra said.

The delay-of-game penalty call against Nashville's Ryan Suter that created the man advantage was questionable, as the defenseman clearing attempt deflected off the stick of Minnesota's Bouchard before sailing over the glass.

With the Wild again on a power play, Gaborik made it 2-1 at 11:59 of the third, converting a backhand pass from behind the net by Demitra for his 18th tally of the season and fourth in three games.

"Pavol made a nice pass from behind the net," Gaborik said. "I was there to get it in the short side.

"Our power play has not been great on the road all year, and that could be a part of our bad road record. If our power play continues on the road to improve, our road record should keep getting better."

Bouchard was awarded a penalty shot with 4:48 to go after being hooked from behind by blue-liner Vitaly Vishnevski during a breakaway. He made the Predators pay by sliding the puck between the pads of Vokoun for his 16th goal.

"I saw the loose puck there and I saw that I had a chance to go on a breakaway," Bouchard said. "I just kept skating and pushing as hard as I could. I was very happy (the referee) was pointing to the middle for that penalty shot.

"The only thing I had in mind was to get at an angle from right to left. After that, I just tried to read what (Vokoun) was going to do. I made a fake shot and he opened the pads up, and I slid it in."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 3 4
    NASHVILLE 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 13 (JASON ARNOTT, GREG ZANON) 9:38
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) PAVOL DEMITRA 17 (BRIAN ROLSTON, MARIAN GABORIK)
    1:20
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 18 (PAVOL DEMITRA, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    11:59
    MIN -

    Feb 17 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 4
    NASHVILLE 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - (EN) BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC 7 (STEPHANE VEILLEUX, MIKKO
    KOIVU) 19:43

    Wild vs. PredatorsFeb 17 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    NASHVILLE 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PS) PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 16 15:12

    Wild vs. PredatorsFeb 17 10:21 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    NASHVILLE 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 18 (PAVOL DEMITRA, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    11:59

    Wild vs. PredatorsFeb 17 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 13 (JASON ARNOTT, GREG ZANON) 9:38
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) PAVOL DEMITRA 17 (MARK PARRISH, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    1:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN

    Feb 17 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    NASHVILLE 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) PAVOL DEMITRA 17 (MARK PARRISH, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    1:20

    Wild vs. PredatorsFeb 17 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    NASHVILLE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 13 (JASON ARNOTT, GREG ZANON) 9:38
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 8 8
    NAS 8 8
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS BACKST

    Feb 17 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    NASHVILLE 1
    1ST PRD: NAS - JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 13 (JASON ARNOTT, GREG ZANON) 9:38

    Wild vs. PredatorsFeb 17 8:27 PM