for this game

Rolston's late goal lifts Wild to third straight win

Dec 19, 2007 - 4:37 AM
By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) - Brian Rolston will likely remember his 600th career point for a long time.

Eric Belanger scored the tying goal and helped set up Rolston's game-winner as the Minnesota Wild rallied for three third-period goals to post a 3-2 comeback victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and defenseman Brent Burns each had two assists for the Wild, who have won three consecutive games and four of their last five contests.

"It's good to see the character and the never-say-die attitude we've got going right now," Minnesota captain Mark Parrish said. "Going into the period down two goals and everybody was positive in here.

"We knew we had to just keep playing the way we were and keep throwing pucks - even throw more pucks at the net - and crash. That's what we did and we finally got a couple chances and finished them."

With the score knotted at 2-2, Belanger deflected Burns' shot from the left point on goal. Goaltender Dan Ellis stopped that attempt, but Rolston was right there to stuff in the rebound with just 68 seconds remaining in the contest.

It was Rolston's 600th career point. He has 12 goals and 13 assists this season.

"We're talking about going at the net more and getting some shots from the point at the net," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Just put the puck at the net."

"We paid the price a little bit more around the net," Rolston said. "That's what you have to do. On the last goal, it was just getting in front of the net and being in the right place. That's where goals are scored these days."

After forcing a turnover in Minnesota's defensive end, Bouchard made an outlet pass to Belanger for a 2-on-1 with Rolston. Defenseman Marek Zidlicky did not commit either way and Belanger blasted a shot which beat Ellis stick side at 6:34 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

"Tonight, I thought our guys who weren't scoring stepped up and the guys that had been reliable weren't reliable in key situations," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We're up 2-1 and we go pinching, the 'D' goes and makes a poor decision in (a 2-on-1 situation); you've got to play the scorer. So there was a couple bad decisions."

Marian Gaborik started the comeback just 41 seconds into the final session when he buried a wide-open opportunity in front of Nashville's net. Bouchard fired a cross-ice pass from the blue line to Pavol Demitra, who along with Gaborik had no defenders between them and Ellis.

Demitra faked a shot to make Ellis commit, then slid the puck to Gaborik for an easy goal - extending his goal streak to three games and his point streak to five. The goal came one second after Radek Bonk left the penalty box from a cross-check late in the second period, so it felt like a power-play tally for Minnesota.

"During the game we were playing OK, it's just that the intensity wasn't there to get goals," Rolston said. "As soon as we got that power-play goal it seemed to ignite us and the crowd got back into it and they got on their heels a little bit."

Ellis stopped 28 shots, but has now lost three consecutive starts.

"We made a few immature mistakes and it came back to bite us," Ellis said. "It looks like we're going to stop this losing streak that we've got going and we don't do the right things in the third period, maybe take some things for granted, and it comes back to bite us and extends our stupid losing streak."

Minnesota also had a backup goalie in net, as Josh Harding started his third consecutive contest with Niklas Backstrom still recovering from the flu. Harding won back-to-back starts on the road over the weekend and made 30 saves in this one - including 16 in the third period.

Jason Arnott opened the scoring at the 8:49 mark in the first period. Harding made the initial save but couldn't smother the rebound, leaving Martin Skoula to clear the puck.

Arnott, however, kept the puck in the offensive zone and fired an uncontested shot from behind the circle to Harding's glove side. With Martin Erat providing a screen, Arnott's shot hit off Backstrom's stick and bounced into the net.

Arnott, who had not scored since November 22 and had just one point in his last seven games, then provided the assist on J.P. Dumont's tally.

The Predators' center sent a pass to Erat along the boards and the Czech fired a shot toward the net. Harding made the save with his pad, but Dumont took the rebound and his attempt deflected of the skate of defenseman Kim Johnsson and slipped between Harding's pads with 8:35 left in the middle session.

But Nashville's first multi-goal game in their last four contests was hardly a consolation for the loss.

"When you lose a game like that, it kind of takes it all away," Arnott said. "It's nice to get a 'PP' goal, no question, and we got a few goals on the board, but when you lose like that, it just defeats your whole confidence level again."






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    Predators vs. WildDec 19 12:06 AM
  • tentime4 yeah baby!! go wild!!!

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 10:29 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1 0 2
    MINNESOTA 0 0 3 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 9 (RYAN SUTER) 8:49
    2ND PRD: NAS - (PP) JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 8 (MARTIN ERAT, JASON ARNOTT)
    11:25
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 13 (PAVOL DEMITRA, BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC)
    0:41
    MIN - ERIC BELANGER 8 (PIER

    Dec 18 10:29 PM
  • tentime4 yeah baby!! go wild!!!

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 12 (ERIC BELANGER, BRENT BURNS) 18:52

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 10:25 PM
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    Predators vs. WildDec 18 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - ERIC BELANGER 8 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, BRENT BURNS)
    6:54

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    MINNESOTA 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 13 (PAVOL DEMITRA, BRANKO RADIVOJEVIC)
    0:41

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 9:54 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Nashville
    1 1 --2
    Minnesota 0 0 --0
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Nashville 8 8 --16
    Minnesota 10 10 --20
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Nashville, Dan Ellis (20 shots, 20 saves). Minnesota, Josh
    Harding (16 shots, 14 saves). Referees: Gord Dwyer, R

    Dec 18 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    MINNESOTA 0
    2ND PRD: NAS - (PP) JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT 8 (MARTIN ERAT, JASON ARNOTT)
    11:25

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 9 (RYAN SUTER) 8:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NAS 8 8
    MIN 10 10
    GOALIES: NAS - DAN ELLIS
    MIN - JOSH HARDING

    Dec 18 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: NAS - JASON ARNOTT 9 (RYAN SUTER) 8:49

    Predators vs. WildDec 18 8:24 PM
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