for this game

Miettinen helps Wild continue dominance over Thashers

Oct 15, 2008 - 3:06 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- So far, so good for Antti Miettinen, Andrew Brunette and the Minnesota Wild.

Miettinen scored two goals and Brunette added a tally and an assist as the Wild continued their dominance of the Atlanta Thrashers with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday.

Marian Gaborik also scored for the Wild, who are off to a 2-0-0 start this season.

"We're on a pretty good roll right now," Miettinen said. "This win was really big, especially on the road."

Gaborik helped the Wild improve to 6-0-2 all-time against the Thrashers by notching what proved to be the game-winner in this one. The Slovakian snapped a 1-1 tie by stealing the puck in front of the net and beating goaltender Kari Lehtonen with a wrist shot for his first goal of the season 2:44 into the third period.

"Gaborik played really well," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He made some beautiful plays."

??

But it was Miettinen that stole the show as the Wild opened a three-game road trip against Southeast Division opponents.

Miettinen gave Minnesota a two-goal lead at 9:41 in the third. Atlanta rookie defenseman Nathan Oystrick tried to play the puck at the blue line but fell down, allowing captain Mikko Koivu to steal it and streak down the ice with the Finn on a 2-on-1.

Miettinen, who also had an assist, then fired a wrister over the Lehtonen's left shoulder for a 3-1 advantage.

"He's a good player," Brunette said of his teammate, who signed with the Wild as a free agent after playing four seasons with the Dallas Stars. "He's very easy to play with. He's got good instincts."

The miscue occurred in the first game of the 25-year-old Oystrick's NHL career.

"I got a glove on (the puck)," Oystrick said. "I tried catching it and bringing it down. Maybe I should have just tried to bat it away. I came down and fell, and with my luck, (Miettinen) put it in. Stuff like that happens throughout the year, and you've just got to learn from it."??

Miettinen tallied again 7 1/2 minutes later to cap the scoring, converting a pass from Brunette while standing on the doorstep.

"I was lucky," Miettinen said of his goals. "People were down there at the same time."

His coach disagreed, instead deferring to Miettinen's hockey IQ.

"He's a guy that knows everything that I know," Lemaire said. "He makes it easy to work with. He knows when to back up players on the ice. He can make good plays. He's good defensively."

Bryan Little had cut Atlanta's deficit to 3-2 with 4:40 left in the third, but netminder Niklas Backstrom was impenetrable the rest of the way. It was the third goal and fifth point of the season for Little, who was drafted 12th overall in 2006.

"Bryan's been playing very well," Thrashers coach John Anderson said. "He's playing on a really good line (alongside Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White). He's expected to do something, and he has."

Kovalchuk knotted the contest at 1-1 at 7:29 of the second period. Little made a backhand pass to the slot, and the Russian superstar ripped a wrister over the left pad of Backstrom.

Brunette scored during a power play to open the scoring with 4:29 left in the first. Koivu slid a cross-ice pass toward the front of the net, where Brunette buried it for his first of the season.

Lehtonen made 22 saves, while Backstrom turned aside 24 shots.

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who was playing in his 1,200th career game, notched his first point as a Thrasher with an assist on Little's goal.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 0 3 4
    ATLANTA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    15:31
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, RON HAINSEY) 7:29
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 1 (UNASSISTED) 2:44
    MIN - ANTTI MIETTINEN 2 (ANDREW BRU

    Oct 14 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 4
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - ANTTI MIETTINEN 3 (ANDREW BRUNETTE) 17:20

    Wild 4, Thrashers 2  3rd - 2:40Oct 14 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - BRYAN LITTLE 3 (TODD WHITE, MATHIEU SCHNEIDER) 15:20

    Wild 3, Thrashers 2  3rd - 4:40Oct 14 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 3
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - ANTTI MIETTINEN 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE) 9:41

    Wild 3, Thrashers 1  3rd - 10:19Oct 14 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - MARIAN GABORIK 1 (UNASSISTED) 2:44

    Wild 2, Thrashers 1  3rd - 17:16Oct 14 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 0 1
    ATLANTA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    15:31
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, RON HAINSEY) 7:29
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN

    Oct 14 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, RON HAINSEY) 7:29

    Wild 1, Thrashers 1  2nd - 12:31Oct 14 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 1 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    15:31
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 6 6
    ATL 9 9
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS

    Oct 14 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (MIKKO KOIVU, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    15:31

    Wild 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 4:29Oct 14 7:37 PM
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