Bruins
Wild
3 - 4 Final
  for this game

Belanger nets two goals as Wild hold off Bruins

Oct 12, 2008 - 6:09 AM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- On the night they raised their first Northwest Division championship banner, the Minnesota Wild took the first step toward adding another.

Eric Belanger scored two goals and Pierre-Marc Bouchard added a pair of assists as the Wild held on for a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Newly elected captain Mikko Koivu also set up two tallies for Minnesota, which improved to 5-0-0 in season openers at home.

"I just think our team has more depth offensively this year," Belanger said. "I think the scoring is going to be a lot more spread out among our lines, and even our defensemen are joining the pack more. So that is going to help up create a lot more offense. It's going to be different guys chipping in every night, and that's going to make us a good team."

"We got the goals, which was good," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Personally, I didn't like the game that much. I know we'll play better than we did tonight. It's always great to win. You have to know there's certain things you have to do in the future if you want to keep winning."

Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron netted a power-play goal 4:01 into the second period to snap a 1-1 tie and Antti Miettinen doubled the Wild's lead 6:18 later. Belanger capped the three-goal middle session with 7:32 left.

"Getting that goal in the first was big, getting us back in the game," Belanger said. "Because I thought we were a little sluggish in the first period. Definitely in the second, we took it to them. That was a big effort from us."

Marc Savard tallied midway through the third and cut the Bruins' deficit to one with 98 seconds left, but his team was unable to get off a good shot in the final seconds against Niklas Backstrom, who made 34 saves in his 100th career NHL game.

"It's funny to say, but the best period that I liked was the third period, even though they came back on us," Lemaire said. "It's funny. We made mistakes, left a guy in the high slot. We just leave him there, and he gets the shot and scores. But moving the puck up, the guys were in the offensive zone, I thought we played much better."

Belanger began a string of four straight tallies by Minnesota late in the first, erasing a 1-0 deficit with 88 seconds remaining by beating Manny Fernandez - a former member of the Wild - during a man advantage. Belanger took a pass from rookie Colton Gillies and glided the puck under Fernandez's pads.

"There was no doubt that there were some tough goals that went in on (Fernandez) tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "However you look at it, they are tough goals. I guess when you haven't played for a while, you are going to be a little rusty. If you want to take the positive out of it, every goal that was scored on him, he was in good position, they went through him.

"It's not like he was out of position. They went through him. Obviously, we need to keep working with him and stop those, and we'll be in good shape."

Fernandez, making his first appearance against his former club since leaving after the 2006-07 season, made 22 saves for the Bruins. It was the first regular-season start for Fernandez since October 22, 2007, as he missed all but four games last campaign with a knee injury.

"The first and second goals were good examples of what is missing in my game - the sharpness," Fernandez said. "Those are two goals that shouldn't go (in). There is no reason for that, regardless of whether I get a good look or not. It wasn't tipped or anything, barely made it through, both of them. I have to clean it up."

Phil Kessel opened the scoring for Boston with a wrist shot that beat Backstrom to the stick side eight minutes into the game. Patrice Bergeron unleashed a shot that rang off the right goalpost and gathered the puck before feeding Kessel for his second tally of the season.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 1 0 2 3
    MINNESOTA 1 3 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 2 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARCO STURM) 8:03
    MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (COLTON GILLIES, KIM JOHNSSON)
    18:32
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:01
    MIN - ANTTI

    Oct 11 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 3
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: BOS - MARC SAVARD 3 (MICHAEL RYDER, P.J. AXELSSON) 18:22

    Bruins 3, Wild 4  3rd - 1:38Oct 11 11:02 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 55 roots (Close Finish)

    Bruins 3, Wild 4  3rd - 1:38Oct 11 11:02 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 3
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: BOS - MARC SAVARD 3 (MICHAEL RYDER, P.J. AXELSSON) 18:22

    Bruins 3, Wild 3  3rd - 1:38Oct 11 10:59 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Bruins 3, Wild 3  3rd - 1:38Oct 11 10:59 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: BOS - MARC SAVARD 2 (MICHAEL RYDER, ANDREW FERENCE) 11:51

    Bruins 2, Wild 3  3rd - 8:09Oct 11 10:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 1 0 1
    MINNESOTA 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 2 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARCO STURM) 8:03
    MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (COLTON GILLIES, KIM JOHNSSON)
    18:32
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:0

    Oct 11 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MINNESOTA 3
    2ND PRD: MIN - ANTTI MIETTINEN 1 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, MIKKO KOIVU) 10:19

    Bruins 1, Wild 3  2nd - 9:41Oct 11 9:53 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:01

    Bruins 1, Wild 2  2nd - 15:59Oct 11 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 1 1
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 2 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARCO STURM) 8:03
    MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (COLTON GILLIES, KIM JOHNSSON)
    18:32
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 14

    Oct 11 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 1 (COLTON GILLIES, ANDREW BRUNETTE)
    18:32

    Bruins 1, Wild 1  1st - 1:28Oct 11 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MINNESOTA 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 2 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARCO STURM) 8:03

    Bruins 1, Wild 0  1st - 11:57Oct 11 8:59 PM