Blues
Wild
1 - 5 Final
  for this game

Gaborik scores twice as Wild extend franchise-high winning streak

Mar 23, 2007 - 6:14 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Marian Gaborik and the Minnesota Wild more than made up for a scoreless first period.

Gaborik had two goals and an assist and Pavol Demitra scored a tally and set up two others as the Wild extended their franchise-record winning streak to eight games with a 5-1 victory over the struggling St. Louis Blues.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard added three assists and Mikko Koivu added a goal and an assist for Minnesota (44-24-7), which also tied the franchise mark of 95 points in climbing past idle Dallas (44-24-5) for sole possession of sixth place in the Western Conference. In 2002-03, the first season the team qualified for the postseason, the Wild also earned 95 points.

"I want to see more games like this," said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire, whose team is one point behind Vancouver (45-23-6) for first place in the Northwest Division. "This is fun for the coach."

After Doug Weight scored with 2:13 remaining in the first period to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead, Minnesota took control of the contest.

"We have a general confidence as a team that we can come back if we are down and continue to press teams," Minnesota's Brian Rolston said. "We have great confidence, all the lines are playing well and we are getting great goaltending, and that gives us confidence."

Demitra, who played for the Blues from 1996-2004, scored his 25th of the season 9:36 into the second, forging a 1-1 tie.

Koivu poke-checked the puck away from defenseman Eric Brewer at the Wild's blue line, Gaborik gathered it and sent Demitra in on a breakaway. The Slovakian fired a wrist shot from the slot into the upper right corner of the net, extending his goal-scoring streak to three games.

"He was ahead of me, he was yelling for it," Gaborik said. "I was behind him in case there was a rebound, but he made a great shot."

Demitra has six points in three games against his former team.

"I played in St. Louis for eight years and we always had a great team, but this team is something special," Demitra said. "Obviously, they shouldn't have let me go. ... This was a special game."

Rolston tallied two minutes later to put the Wild ahead for good. Bouchard passed from deep in his own end to Rolston, who was breaking at center ice. He skated past Brewer and beat goaltender Curtis Sanford with a shot from the left faceoff circle.

Gaborik cashed in on a power play with his 27th goal of the season with 1:43 left, then put away the Blues with another man-advantage tally 8:07 into the third session for a 4-1 bulge. Bouchard assisted on both goals.

On the first tally, Gaborik held the puck in the left circle during a 5-on-3 advantage and fired a wrist shot into the upper left corner. On his second, he fed Demitra in the low slot, got a return pass and tucked the puck past Sanford on the short side, completing his seventh two-goal performance of the season.

"I was looking for Branko (Radivojevic), but Brewer covered him pretty good," Gaborik said. "I saw Pavol coming, we did a little give-and-go, he made a great play. He sees everyone real well. We've been finding each other out there a lot. I try to look for him every time I have the puck, take three, four steps and I know the puck is going to be there. He's been great that way."

Koivu capped the scoring with 8:17 left for Minnesota, which went 3-of-6 on the power play.

"After we scored the first goal, we seemed to let our game slip away," Sanford said. "They took over and we didn't respond."

Niklas Backstrom turned aside 19 shots for the Wild, who improved to 25-6-4 at home.

Sanford made 28 saves for St. Louis (30-31-12), which has lost six of its last seven games and remained 14 points out of the final playoff berth in the West with nine contests left.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 0 0 1
    MINNESOTA 0 3 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - DOUG WEIGHT 12 (PETR CAJANEK) 17:47
    2ND PRD: MIN - PAVOL DEMITRA 25 (MARIAN GABORIK, MIKKO KOIVU) 9:36
    MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 30 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, KEITH CARNEY)
    11:36
    MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 27 (PIERRE-MARC

    Mar 22 10:35 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    MINNESOTA 5
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MIKKO KOIVU 18 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 11:43

    Blues vs. WildMar 22 10:22 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 28 (PAVOL DEMITRA) 8:07

    Blues vs. WildMar 22 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 0 1
    MINNESOTA 0 3 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - DOUG WEIGHT 12 (PETR CAJANEK) 17:47
    2ND PRD: MIN - PAVOL DEMITRA 25 (MARIAN GABORIK, MIKKO KOIVU) 9:36
    MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 30 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, KEITH CARNEY)
    11:36
    MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 27

    Mar 22 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    MINNESOTA 3
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 27 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, PAVOL
    DEMITRA) 18:17 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Blues vs. WildMar 22 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 30 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, BRENT BURNS)
    11:36

    Blues vs. WildMar 22 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - PAVOL DEMITRA 25 (MARIAN GABORIK, MIKKO KOIVU) 9:36

    Blues vs. WildMar 22 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: STL - DOUG WEIGHT 12 (PETR CAJANEK) 17:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 5 5
    MIN 12 12
    GOALIES: STL - CURTIS SANFORD
    MIN - NIKLAS BAC

    Mar 22 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: STL - DOUG WEIGHT 12 (PETR CAJANEK) 17:47

    Blues vs. WildMar 22 8:42 PM