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Gaborik, Backstrom lift Wild past Kings

Mar 16, 2008 - 4:10 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Captain Marian Gaborik scored his 200th career goal and Niklas Backstrom recorded his eighth career shutout by stopping all 24 shots he faced as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 2-0, on Saturday.

Brian Rolston also tallied for Minnesota (38-26-8), which won for the first time in its last six games (1-2-3) and pulled even in points with Colorado (39-28-6) for first place in the Northwest Division.

The Wild's last win also came against the Kings - a 2-1 triumph on March 2.

"Our effort was good tonight and we played a patient game," Rolston said. "They really sat back in the neutral zone, so it tough to get anything through the neutral zone. We continued to try to pepper them. Fortunately, I banged one in off kind of a garbage goal, and then Gabby gets one in the end. So it was a good win for us."

Backstrom stopped seven shots in both the first and second periods and 10 in the third for his third shutout of his season. The Finnish netminder started the season with two blankings in his first three games.

"If we want to make the playoffs, that's the way it has to be," Backstrom said. "I have to be there and make the saves when the team needs that and help them so they don't have to score four or five goals every night."

Los Angeles rookie Erik Ersberg made 27 saves but fell to 2-3-1 with one shutout in six starts. He has allowed two goals or less on four occasions.

Kings coach Marc Crawford did not fault his goaltender for his performance. His team's play with the man advantage, however, was another matter.

"We've got to connect on one of those five (power plays)," Crawford said. "If we would have connected on one of those five, we got a chance to get the game into overtime. So this is one where our power play has to take some ownership of our performance tonight.

"Our penalty kills were great. Our goaltending has been great. I thought our effort has been really good, but you need sometimes to be direct and play the game and see how it unfolds. And tonight, it unfolded as a hard-fought battle for position and a battle for real estate. Even on the power play, you've got to play it that way."

Rolston opened the scoring with 5:49 remaining in the second period.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard wristed a centering pass in front of the net, and Rolston was able to poke the puck past Ersberg for his 27th goal of the season and third in his last four games.

While it was not an aesthetically pleasing goal, Minnesota wild coach Jacques Lemaire was more than willing to take it.

"You know we were talking about that," Lemaire said. "We have to work the net, we have to try to tip pucks. And if you remember, there's a lot of good shots that were right in the goalie's chest. There's a lot of pucks that (Ersberg) swallowed. I just felt that if we hit the corner, we would have had more goals."

Gaborik doubled the advantage with 4:04 remaining in the third period. After receiving a feed from fellow Slovakian Pavol Demitra, the All-Star beat the Swedish netminder for his 36th goal of the season and second in as many games.

"I tried to come out to challenge him as much as I could," Ersberg said. "He has good speed, too, but you have to try to close him as much as you can. It was a good shot, he is a good shooter."

After Gaborik recorded his milestone goal, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

"It was fun, it was very cool. These fans are unbelievable, so I appreciated it a lot," said Gaborik, who has recorded a point in seven of his last eight games. "It is (a big milestone). Especially to score in a winning game. We haven't won in a while. This is a big two points for us. It's nice to get that goal in a two-point game, so it is huge."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 27 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, MIKKO KOIVU)
    14:11
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 36 (PAVOL DEMITRA) 15:56
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: LOS - 0 OF 5, MIN - 0 OF 3.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Mar 15 10:22 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 0
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 36 (PAVOL DEMITRA) 15:56

    Kings 0, Wild 2  3rd - 4:04Mar 15 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 27 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, MIKKO KOIVU)
    14:11
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 7 7 14
    MIN 11 12 23
    GOALIES:

    Mar 15 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - BRIAN ROLSTON 27 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, MIKKO KOIVU)
    14:11

    Kings 0, Wild 1  2nd - 5:49Mar 15 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 7 7
    MIN 11 11
    GOALIES: LOS - ERIK ERSBERG
    MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM

    Mar 15 8:41 PM