for this game

Bouchard, Wild blast Maple Leafs

Jan 28, 2009 - 5:31 AM
By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- If the Minnesota Wild are going to separate themselves in the crowded Western Conference, the next month likely will play a large part. More efforts like the one they put forth on Tuesday will help.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored a pair of goals and set up another to lead the Wild to a 6-1 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Cal Clutterbuck opened the scoring as Minnesota led, 1-0, after the first period. Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron snapped a tie 5 1/2 minutes into the second and began a run of five unanswered goals by the Wild, who have tallied at least four times in each of their last four victories.

"We counted, they had like eight chances and only six for us," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said of the up-and-down second period. "I think we took advantage of the goalie. I think he only had one game in the NHL, this was his second. I know we had good shots there. We scored nice goals, passes were accurate, we took advantage of the chances we had."

Andrew Brunette - who was playing in his 500th consecutive game - and Owen Nolan each added a goal and an assist and All-Star Niklas Backstrom made 26 saves for Minnesota, which also received two assists apiece from Antti Miettinen and Eric Belanger.

"For us as a team, it's important to play our best hockey," Brunette said. "That's something we focused on coming in after the break. This is make or break time for this hockey team.

"I've been in this Western Conference for eight or nine years. We all know things get tight. We've got to make a little hay here in February with all these home games because we have a tough March."

Jason Blake netted the lone goal for Toronto, which fell to 1-6-2 in its last nine games. Making just his second career start, Justin Pogge turned aside 15 shots.

"We gave up three 2-on-1s and a breakaway," Blake said. "That's probably a tough game for him because we didn't give him any support. In cases like that, I don't know if you can say if he learned anything because we as a team need to be better in front of him. That's four goals right there that are mistakes that forwards or guys in front of him made."

Entering two points out of eighth place in the West, the Wild received an early spark from Clutterbuck, whose wrist shot from the left faceoff circle at 9:12 of the first period gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead. It was Clutterbuck's eight goal of the season and fourth in the past six games.

"He's been an Energizer bunny for us most of the year," Brunette said of Clutterbuck. "He's played really well. He's been one of our more effective players for the last couple months."

Blake tied the contest 4:29 into the second, but Toronto did not hold the advantage for long.

Bergeron netted his fifth of the season came exactly one minute later. As Bouchard controlled the puck behind the net, he found Bergeron pinching for a quick one-timer that beat Pogge.

Bouchard added his first of the game at 7:47, and Brunette's 12th of the season just 39 seconds later put the Wild ahead, 4-1.

Nolan collected the puck after it bounced off the end boards and made a quick drop pass to Koivu, who found Brunette alone on the other side of the crease for an easy shot into a wide-open net.

"Turnovers, or losing your position defensively, a lot of our D were on the wrong side of situations, giving the inside route to their players, and bang, bang, bang, next thing you know, we're completely out of the game in a hurry," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "We've got a lot of guys who have to show a lot more pride in their performance defensively than they are showing. You should dig in a little bit harder when you have a young kid playing goal."

Bouchard's second of the game and 12th of the season with 1:46 remaining in the second made it a four-goal bulge, and Nolan capped the scoring just over nine minutes into the third.

Despite his team's offensive outburst, Lemaire was disappointed with its 0-for-3 performance with the man advantage.

"On our power play right now, we're not shooting the puck, and it shows," he said. "Our point man has got to shoot the puck more, and decisions on the half board are not the right ones. So when power plays aren't working, you have to score 5-on-5 if you want to win."

Minnesota entered the game with the third-fewest goals in the league, a perfect opportunity for Pogge to get his second career start after the 22-year-old posted a win over Atlanta in his NHL debut on December 22. However, the Wild's scoring outburst will send him back to Toronto of the American Hockey League, where he was expected to go regardless of the outcome, with a bitter taste in his mouth.

"That is part of learning," Pogge said. "It's only game No. 2, so I'll see how it goes. I'll go back and work on the little things again and start back at square one. It's not really that big of a deal."






  • 15
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 6  FinalJan 27 10:49 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 0 1
    MINNESOTA 1 4 1 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 8 (JAMES SHEPPARD, STEPHANE VEILLEUX)
    9:12
    2ND PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 15 (IAN WHITE, DOMINIC MOORE) 4:29
    MIN - MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 5 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, ERIC
    BELANGER) 5:29
    MIN - PIERRE-MARC

    Jan 27 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MINNESOTA 6
    3RD PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 12 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, MAREK ZIDLICKY) 9:08

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 6  3rd - 10:52Jan 27 10:05 PM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 5  End of 2ndJan 27 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 1
    MINNESOTA 1 4 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 8 (JAMES SHEPPARD, STEPHANE VEILLEUX)
    9:12
    2ND PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 15 (IAN WHITE, DOMINIC MOORE) 4:29
    MIN - MARC-ANDRE BERGERON 5 (PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD, ERIC
    BELANGER) 5:29
    MIN

    Jan 27 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MINNESOTA 5
    2ND PRD: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 10 (KIM JOHNSSON, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    18:14

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 5  2nd - 1:46Jan 27 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MINNESOTA 4
    2ND PRD: MIN - ANDREW BRUNETTE 12 (MIKKO KOIVU, OWEN NOLAN) 8:26

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 4  2nd - 11:34Jan 27 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 9 (ERIC BELANGER, ANTTI MIETTINEN)
    7:27

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 2  2nd - 12:33Jan 27 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    MINNESOTA 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 15 (IAN WHITE, DOMINIC MOORE) 4:29

    Maple Leafs 1, Wild 1  2nd - 15:31Jan 27 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 8 (JAMES SHEPPARD, STEPHANE VEILLEUX)
    9:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 6 6
    MIN 5 5
    GOALIES: TOR - JUSTIN

    Jan 27 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - CAL CLUTTERBUCK 8 (JAMES SHEPPARD, STEPHANE VEILLEUX)
    9:12

    Maple Leafs 0, Wild 1  1st - 10:48Jan 27 8:25 PM