Wild
Bruins
1 - 0 Final
  for this game

Backstrom posts second straight shutout for Wild

Jan 7, 2009 - 4:41 AM
By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- While Manny Fernandez proved human on home ice, former teammate Niklas Backstrom was impenetrable.

Backstrom made 28 saves for his second consecutive shutout and defenseman Marek Zidlicky scored the lone goal as the Minnesota Wild continued their dominance of the Boston Bruins on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory.

Backstrom, who stopped 33 shots in a 2-0 triumph at Colorado on Sunday, made six saves in the first period, nine in the second and 13 in the third en route to his fifth blanking of the season and 14th career.

"It was a really big challenge for us," Backstrom said. "It's probably one of the best teams out there, and we really rose to the challenge. We played a good 60 minutes. It was tough out there.

"We needed some bounces, but we worked for them. When you work hard, you get the bounces on your side."

The 30-year-old Finn is tied with Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Steve Mason and Vancouver Canucks captain Roberto Luongo for the league lead in shutouts.

"The biggest thing for us was, we played strong defense," Backstrom said. "We kept coming back and getting our backcheck and kept them on the outside. We needed all the guys down there for a good, solid defense, and we did that all night."

Zidlicky scored on a power play 7 1/2 minutes into the second period to provide all the offense needed by Minnesota, which improved to 7-1-1 all-time against the Bruins and 5-0-0 in Boston.

"(Boston) is a good team," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire, the uncle of Fernandez. "It's a team that can play better than it did tonight. When they get the puck to roll, they're extremely dangerous. We checked the whole game, we are a checking team. When we get goals on the power play, we can get by."

Fernandez turned aside 23 shots for the Bruins, who were shut out for the first time this season in losing their second straight game at home in regulation. Boston began the campaign with a 14-1-1 mark at TD Banknorth Garden.

The loss was the first at home this season for Fernandez (9-1-0), who shared the William Jennings Trophy with Backstrom in 2007 while with the Wild.

"I think he did his job," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "One of the few guys I think we can say was good tonight was Manny."

"I think we wasted a great effort by Manny tonight," Boston rookie Blake Wheeler added. "He deserved better by the way he played."

There were precious few scoring chances in the first period as the teams combined for just 11 shots, with Boston holding a 6-5 advantage.

The power play was the biggest factor in the second, as Boston was whistled for three minor penalties in the first six minutes of the session.

"It's frustrating always having a man down," Wheeler said. "But we need to look at ourselves, too. We can't afford to take three penalties in a row. That's just going to slow our momentum. Ultimately, they're going to play with the puck in our zone a lot. We cracked and they scored on it."

Minnesota finally capitalized on its third man advantage of the period and fourth of the game when Zidlicky took a pass from Pierre-Marc Bouchard and skated across the blue line to above the slot before firing a slap shot past a screened Fernandez and inside the right goalpost.

"You don't score on the power play, you don't win the game," said Lemaire, whose team entered with the sixth-best power play in the league. "We're not a scoring team 5-on-5. We haven't proven that so far. Power plays for us, they're key. We have to get the points there until we start to score 5-on-5."

"After four in a row, we end up giving up a goal," Julien said. "It's not so much about the other team right now, it's about us."

The Bruins had several quality chances in the final minute of the period as they controlled the puck in the offensive zone. Michael Ryder had the best opportunity when his wrist shot rang off the left goalpost and ricocheted into the corner.

"Their goalie was great," Julien said. "We had one puck hit the post and then he makes the saves."

Boston's pressure resulted in its first power play of the night, created when Bouchard flipped the puck into the stands for a delay-of-game penalty in the final 10 seconds.

The Bruins had another chance to net the equalizer when Wild captain Mikko Koivu was called for hooking midway through the third, but Minnesota successfully killed that man advantage to maintain its slim lead.

Boston, which fell to 1-2-0 on its six-game homestand, has lost consecutive contests for just the third time this season and first since dropping a pair of overtime decisions on October 20-21.

"We're just not in sync right now," Julien said. "We see things in our team that show we've slipped. We're just a step behind right now. You don't panic. It's a combination of things."






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    Wild 1, Bruins 0  FinalJan 7 12:26 AM
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  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 0 1
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 5 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, KRYSTOFER
    KOLANOS) 7:29
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: MIN - 1 OF 5, BOS - 0 OF 2.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- ----

    Jan 6 9:51 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 1 1
    BOSTON 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 5 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, KRYSTOFER
    KOLANOS) 7:29
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 5 15 20
    BOS 6 9 15

    Jan 6 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    BOSTON 0
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) MAREK ZIDLICKY 5 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, KRYSTOFER
    KOLANOS) 12:31

    Wild 1, Bruins 0  2nd - 7:29Jan 6 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    BOSTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 5 5
    BOS 6 6
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM
    BOS - MANNY FERNANDEZ

    Jan 6 7:40 PM
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