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Backstrom returns, Gaborik scores twice as Wild end losing streak

Nov 4, 2007 - 3:19 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Marian Gaborik, Niklas Backstrom and the Minnesota Wild hope their problems have come full circle.

Gaborik scored two goals and assisted on another while Backstrom returned from injury with a strong effort as the Wild snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

The Wild, who started the season by earning 15 of a possible 16 points in their first eight games, avenged their first regulation loss of the season - a 5-3 setback at Calgary on October 24.

Not coincidentally, that was the last start by Backstrom, who missed the previous four games with a groin injury. However, he had a successful return, stopping 23 shots to help the Wild end their longest losing streak since a seven-game skid from February 7-March 22, 2004.

"We had five tough games," Backstrom said. "We wanted to forget that and get a new start. Since the first shift, we played the way we can play. The first shift made a big difference for us."

The Wild jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first peroid of the loss to Calgary but watched as the Flames scored five straight goals.

"What happened last time in Calgary isn't going to happen to us again all year," said Brian Rolston, the Wild's captain for the month of November.

"We blew a three-goal lead up there, and since then, we lost five games," Gaborik said. "(Backstrom) was strong, he didn't give up any rebounds. It was nice to see him come back and get us a win."

Gaborik scored his first goal on a breakaway after a turnover in Minnesota's zone.

"(Gaborik) came off the bench on a line change," Flames coach Mike Keenan said. "It was fortuitous for (the Wild) that they got possession when he made his line change. Our defense has to look around and see where the fifth guy is. He was opportunistic and got in behind our defense."

After defenseman Keith Carney made a sliding stop to disrupt a rush by Calgary, Gaborik took an outlet pass and went in alone on goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff before slipping the puck between his pads for a 2-0 lead at 6:37 of the second.

"(Calgary) had a rush and Carney made a great play, blocked the shot, and (James) Sheppard made a great pass," said Gaborik, the Wild's all-time leading scorer. "I had a bunch of time."

That tally proved to be important as Jarome Iginla made a spectacular play to pull the Flames within 2-1 with just 38 seconds left in the period.

Defenseman Adrian Aucoin fired a slap shot from the blue line that was going wide to the right, but Iginla was there on the side of the net to redirect it in for his ninth goal of the season.

"Jarome had a nice goal, gave us life. We felt, 'OK, here we go,'" Calgary's Craig Conroy said.

"We had our chances," Iginla said. "On another night, if we stay determined like that. ... But the Wild are a very good defensive team."

Gaborik then provided some breathing room as he scored on a rebound at 3:22 of the third.

During a power play, defenseman Kim Johnsson sent a slap shot from the blue line that was stopped by Kiprusoff. But Gaborik gathered the rebound in traffic and sent a backhand shot into the top right corner of the net for a two-goal bulge.

Branko Radivojevic added an empty-net goal with less than a minute left to seal the win.

The Wild got on the board first as Gaborik sent an outlet pass to Rolston, who blasted a slap shot from the blue line that sneaked past Kiprusoff at 2:28 for a 1-0 lead.

Kiprusoff, who entered the game 14-2-2 with a 1.69 goals-against average lifetime against Minnesota, stopped 13 shots.








  • NHL
    CALGARY 1
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 4 (KIM JOHNSSON, BRENT BURNS) 3:22

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 1 1
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, BRENT BURNS) 2:28
    2ND PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 3 (JAMES SHEPPARD) 6:37
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 9 (ADRIAN AUCOIN, ALEX TANGUAY) 19:22
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Nov 3 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 1
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 9 (ADRIAN AUCOIN, ALEX TANGUAY) 19:22

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 1 0 1
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, BRENT BURNS) 2:28
    2ND PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 3 (JAMES SHEPPARD) 6:37
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 9 (ADRIAN AUCOIN, ALEX TANGUAY) 19:22
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MARIAN GABORIK 4 (KIM JOHNSS

    Nov 3 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 1
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - (EN) BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC 1 (MIKKO KOIVU) 19:01

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 9:28 PM
  • 10
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 9:19 PM
  • 5
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 3 (JAMES SHEPPARD) 6:37

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, BRENT BURNS) 2:28
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CGY 9 9
    MIN 5 5
    GOALIES: CGY - MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF

    Nov 3 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 7 (MARIAN GABORIK, BRENT BURNS) 2:28

    Flames vs. WildNov 3 8:13 PM