Wild
Panthers
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Burns helps Wild continue dominance of Panthers

Mar 1, 2008 - 6:04 AM By Michael Snyder PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Defenseman Brent Burns scored a goal and set up another as the Minnesota Wild extended their winning streak over the Florida Panthers to six games with a 3-2 triumph on Friday night.

Mikko Koivu and Stephane Veilleux also tallied and Niklas Backstrom made 32 saves for the Wild (36-24-5), who grabbed sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division. The Calgary Flames (33-22-9), who entered Friday tied with Minnesota for the top spot, lost to the Anaheim Ducks later Friday.

The Wild have won two in a row after ending a four-game winless streak with a 3-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

"It's been a few games where we're just winning by a goal," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We'll take it because it's enough for two points."

Burns helped snap a 1-1 tie when he prevented the Panthers from dumping the puck into the zone and caught them on a line change, sending an outlet pass to Veilleux for a 2-on-1 rush.

"We want to (get them to) turn pucks over and go the other way," Wild defenseman Nick Schultz said. "We've got some quick forwards, and if we play the way Jacques wants us to play in the neutral zone, our forwards are going to get a lot of pucks and a lot of chances, and you saw that tonight."

Veilleux blasted a slap shot from the left faceoff circle over All-Star goaltender Tomas Vokoun's glove to give Minnesota the lead at 7:54 of the second period.

"Burns is a great skater, he has great ability and he sees the ice well," Lemaire said. "He's got a quick release on his passes and on his shot."

Burns doubled the advantage on a power play with 9:28 remaining in the middle session. The 22-year-old ended his nine-game goalless drought when he blasted a one-timer from the left circle between the pads of Vokoun to make it 3-1.

"We were really working it back and forth a lot and just trying to move the puck quick, make tape-to-tape passes," Burns said. "Most PPs (power plays), it's tough (for opponents) to keep going and going if we're making good passes."

Nathan Horton halved the deficit at 6:02 of the third on a power play with his 21st goal of the season.

But Florida could get no closer. Backstrom made some of his best stops late, including a point-blank glove save on defenseman Karlis Skrastins' attempt with 2:33 to play.

"They really play a good puck-possession game," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "You can see that most of their passes are tape to tape, and with their great speed, they stretch you. Their speed made it too difficult for us to handle in the first two periods."

Koivu gave the Wild a 1-0 edge at 9:43 of the opening period, when he scored off a 3-on-1 rush. All-Star Marian Gaborik made a pass to the slot to the Finn, who sent the puck past Vokoun for his ninth of the season.

Defenseman Steve Montador answered at 5:34 of the second, taking a pass from Gregory Campbell off the boards and fighting off Minnesota blue-liner Keith Carney in front of the net before firing a shot between the pads of a diving Backstrom.

Blue-liner Cory Murphy collected two assists and Vokoun stopped 22 shots for Florida, which has won just one of its last seven contests (1-4-2) as its playoff hopes continue to fade.

"We didn't take advantage of some of their weaknesses like we needed to," Florida's David Booth said. "Too little, too late."

This was just the eighth all-time meeting between the clubs.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 2 0 3
    FLORIDA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 9 (MARIAN GABORIK, PAVOL DEMITRA) 9:43
    2ND PRD: FLA - STEVE MONTADOR 7 (GREGORY CAMPBELL, CORY MURPHY) 5:34
    MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 7 (BRENT BURNS) 7:54
    MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 11 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PIER

    Feb 29 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 21 (DAVID BOOTH, CORY MURPHY) 6:02

    Wild 3, Panthers 2  3rd - 13:58Feb 29 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 2 3
    FLORIDA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 9 (MARIAN GABORIK, PAVOL DEMITRA) 9:43
    2ND PRD: FLA - STEVE MONTADOR 7 (GREGORY CAMPBELL, CORY MURPHY) 5:34
    MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 7 (BRENT BURNS) 7:54
    MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 11 (BRIAN

    Feb 29 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) BRENT BURNS 11 (BRIAN ROLSTON, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 10:32

    Wild 3, Panthers 1  2nd - 9:28Feb 29 8:47 PM
  • 10
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Wild 2, Panthers 1  2nd - 12:06Feb 29 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - STEPHANE VEILLEUX 7 (BRENT BURNS) 7:54

    Wild 2, Panthers 1  2nd - 12:06Feb 29 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - STEVE MONTADOR 7 (GREGORY CAMPBELL, CORY MURPHY) 5:34

    Wild 1, Panthers 1  2nd - 14:26Feb 29 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1
    FLORIDA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 9 (MARIAN GABORIK, PAVOL DEMITRA) 9:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 10 10
    FLA 10 10
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM

    Feb 29 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    FLORIDA 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 9 (MARIAN GABORIK, PAVOL DEMITRA) 9:43

    Wild 1, Panthers 0  1st - 10:17Feb 29 7:55 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. PanthersFeb 22 4:22 PM