Ducks
Wild
0 - 3 Final
  for this game

Brunette, Backstrom help Wild skate past Ducks

Feb 5, 2009 - 5:47 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Andrew Brunette has taken a liking to his new title of captain of the Minnesota Wild.

In his first contest since being appointed as the club's new leader, Brunette scored a power-play goal early in the first period and added an assist as the Wild recorded a 3-0 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.

All-Star Niklas Backstrom made 34 saves while Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard each scored a goal and set up another for the Wild, who have won three of their last four contests.

"I think we're getting better every night, and that's the way it should be," Backstrom said. "We can't be satisfied because the standings probably will be completely different tomorrow night. It's good for hockey, but for a player, it's tough.

"It's also a challenge. You've got to play your best game every night."

The 30-year-old Backstrom turned aside nine shots in the first period, 11 in the second and 14 in the third to notch his fifth shutout of the season and 15th career.

Jonas Hiller made 22 saves in his fifth consecutive start for the Ducks, whose two-game winning streak was halted.

"We had chances, but our execution, we didn't really have any finish around the net," said Anaheim's Randy Carlyle, who was coaching his 300th career NHL game. "We had chances, but we didn't get second and third opportunities. We didn't cycle the puck like we usually do. We didn't do the things we usually do that are the staples of our hockey club when we're playing well."

Brunette, who has collected three goals and 10 points in his last nine contests, gave Backstrom all the support he needed at 4:21 of the opening session by firing a wrist shot past Hiller for his 13th tally of the season.

"I'll take that," Brunette said. "We did a good job keeping the puck to the outside and not giving anything back to the net, and not too many loose rebounds. I think everybody paid attention defensively and didn't give them the quality chances we seem to give up certain nights."

Koivu doubled the advantage 4:20 into the second, wristing the puck by Hiller from the low slot after receiving a pass from Antti Miettinen.

"It's more important that we can keep the way we are playing, every guy show up every night," Koivu said. "That's what we talked about after the (All-Star) break, that even if you have a good game or a bad one, you have to get ready for the next one. Right now, we're doing a good job on that."

With 46 seconds remaining in the third, Bouchard secured the victory with an empty-netter.

"You look at our defense, they really played well," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "You look at our forwards, they were really around the puck. They made plays, which was really good for me."

Hiller has given up three goals or fewer in each of his last eight appearances in place of ineffective All-Star Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has not played since surrendering two goals in 14 minutes of a 2-1 setback to the New York Islanders on January 21.

"For sure, everybody knows," Hiller said of his team beginning its playoff chase. "We're right in the battle for the playoff spots. Every game now is like a playoff game because you have to win to make the playoffs. Everybody knows it, but we still didn't play like it."






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    Ducks 0, Wild 3  FinalFeb 5 6:23 AM
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    Ducks 0, Wild 3  FinalFeb 4 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 13 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:21
    2ND PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 15 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, BRENT BURNS) 4:20
    3RD PRD: MIN - (EN) PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 11 (ERIC BELANGER) 19:14
    POWER-PLAY CO

    Feb 4 10:24 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    MINNESOTA 3
    3RD PRD: MIN - (EN) PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 11 (ERIC BELANGER) 19:14

    Ducks 0, Wild 3  3rd - 0:46Feb 4 10:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 13 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:21
    2ND PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 15 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, BRENT BURNS) 4:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    AN

    Feb 4 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    MINNESOTA 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 15 (ANTTI MIETTINEN, BRENT BURNS) 4:20

    Ducks 0, Wild 2  2nd - 15:40Feb 4 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0
    MINNESOTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 13 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 9 9
    MIN 11 11
    GOALIES: ANA - J

    Feb 4 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) ANDREW BRUNETTE 13 (MIKKO KOIVU, PIERRE-MARC
    BOUCHARD) 4:21

    Ducks 0, Wild 1  1st - 15:39Feb 4 8:16 PM