Final - OT
  for this game

Nummelin's shootout goal lifts Wild over Canucks

Oct 11, 2006 - 4:08 AM ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- One reason the Minnesota Wild did not make the playoffs last year was an abundance of one-goal losses.

Defenseman Petteri Nummelin scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give the Wild a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks for their third one-goal victory of the young season.

With the shootout tied, 2-2, Nummelin went to the backhand against goaltender Roberto Luongo and lifted the puck high over Luongo's glove for the game-winner.

"I was real nervous," Nummelin said. "I knew I was going to go high."

Trailing 1-0, the Wild stormed the Vancouver net in the third period, outshooting the Canucks, 12-5, and forging a 1-1 tie on a fortunate break.

Minnesota's Brian Rolston skated down the left side and cut toward the Vancouver net. His centering attempt deflected off the skate of defenseman Lukas Krajicek and past Luongo to tie the game.

"I was trying to center it to Pav (Pavol Demitra) and it just went off the defenseman's skate," Rolston said. "I said between the second and the third period that we're going to have to get an ugly goal tonight, and that's exactly what it was, really."

Minnesota coach Jacque Lemaire, whose team had 28 one-goal losses last season, was pleased with his club's work ethic.

"We had a lot of good chances, but we couldn't get goals at the right time," Lemaire said. "Our best period was the third period, there's no doubt about it. I thought we were more intense."

Taylor Pyatt gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead at 9:15 of the second period. The left wing stood in the slot, took Daniel Sedin's pass from behind the net and drilled the puck past netminder Manny Fernandez low to the glove side.

Fernandez made 30 saves for the Wild, who went 1-for-2 on the power play. Luongo finished with 35 saves for the Canucks, who went 0-for-4 with the extra skater.

"(Fernandez) is a guy we're going to count on all year and he was sharp again tonight," Rolston said. "I think he's one of the best guys in the league."

Vancouver's Ryan Kesler was drilled into the boards by Minnesota defenseman Kurtis Foster late in the second period. He tried to skate to the bench but collapsed before regaining his balance and left the ice with the assistance of two teammates. The center did not return for the third period.

Canucks defenseman Sami Salo suffered an undisclosed injury midway through the second period and did not return.

"Kesler just got his bell rung a little bit there, nothing serious," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We just wanted to be on the safe side. He'll be alright. Sami, for the last couple days his groin has been bothering him and it acted up a little bit there. So we just went to the safe side, and he will be re-evaluated (Wednesday)."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!