Blues
Wild
0 - 4 Final
  for this game

Backstrom, Wild blank Blues

Dec 4, 2008 - 5:30 AM
By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Niklas Backstrom recorded his third shutout of the season and Eric Belanger and Andrew Brunette netted milestone goals as the Minnesota Wild topped the St. Louis Blues, 4-0, on Wednesday.

Belanger started the scoring with his 100th career goal and Brunette netted his 200 tally as Minnesota won for the third time in its last four games.

Defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored his fourth goal of the season and Antti Miettinen added an empty-netter for the Wild, who have scored 20 goals in their last four contests. Zidlicky and Belanger each notched an assist while defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron collected two.

Backstrom was coming off a terrible performance in which he allowed six goals in two periods against Colorado on Monday and had just two wins in his previous six starts. But the Finn was sharp in this contest, notching his first shutout since November 13.

"I felt embarrassed how I played on Monday," Backstrom said. "It was nice to go out there and show that you were not that bad."

Playing behind the NHL's best defense, Backstrom made 22 saves. He turned aside eight shots in the first period, nine more in the second and five in the third for his 12th career blanking.

"He was back the way he was," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said of his netminder. "The last game there, like I said, was not his fault. They had some great shots and he had no help at all. But tonight, he was good. Made the saves that he had to to keep us in the game."

"Every goalie who goes out there, you want to stop every puck every night, but it's not always possible," Backstrom said. "I think it's more for the team to show that they battled hard and played a good game. No goalie gets a shutout by himself. You need all the guys helping you, and they helped me really well today."

Counterpart Chris Mason entered having allowed just four goals on his previous 134 shots faced and with a three-game winning streak.

But after keeping St. Louis in the game through two periods, Mason surrendered a pair of power-play goals early in the third as the Blues lost for the third time in four games. He finished with 34 saves.

"They put a lot of pucks on net and they were driving the net very well," Mason said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game after that last game that we had there. They definitely came out flying."

After a scoreless first period, Belanger tallied at 10:28 of the second. He was able to gather the puck, fight off Alex Steen with his body and sneak a backhander over Mason's left shoulder.

"It's a game-winning goal, so it's fun," Belanger said of reaching his milestone. "I felt (Steen) all the way. I just thought, 'I'm going to get a shot and see what happens,' and it went in."

Brunette doubled the advantage at 2:54 of the third period and Zidlicky added his fourth goal of the season less than 2 1/2 minutes later, when his one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle beat Mason.

"Right from the beginning of that (second) period, they were much more assertive than we were and played in our zone," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "When you're playing in your own zone, you have a tendency to take some penalties, and that's what we did."

Miettinen was credited with a goal with 28 seconds remaining, when he was shoved from behind while skating toward an empty net.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 1 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - ERIC BELANGER 7 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 10:28
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 9 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, MARC-ANDRE
    BERGERON) 2:54
    MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 4 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, MIKKO
    KOIVU) 5:14
    M

    Dec 3 10:27 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    MINNESOTA 4
    3RD PRD: MIN - (EN) ANTTI MIETTINEN 7 (ERIC BELANGER) 19:32

    Blues 0, Wild 4  3rd - 0:28Dec 3 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 4 (UNASSISTED) 5:14

    Blues 0, Wild 3  3rd - 14:46Dec 3 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    MINNESOTA 2
    3RD PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 9 (MAREK ZIDLICKY, MARC-ANDRE
    BERGERON) 2:54

    Blues 0, Wild 2  3rd - 17:06Dec 3 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - ERIC BELANGER 7 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 10:28
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 8 9 17
    MIN 13 11 24
    GOALIES: STL - CHRIS MA

    Dec 3 9:32 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Blues 0, Wild 1  2nd - 9:32Dec 3 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: MIN - ERIC BELANGER 7 (UNASSISTED) 10:28

    Blues 0, Wild 1  2nd - 9:32Dec 3 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 8 8
    MIN 13 13
    GOALIES: STL - CHRIS MASON
    MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM

    Dec 3 8:40 PM