Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Series starts 11/14

Game 1: Thursday, November 14th
Penguins1Final
OT
Wild1

Penguins 1

(7-4-1, 18 pts)

Wild 1

(10-5-0, 23 pts)

8:00 PM ET, November 14, 2002

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 OT T
PIT 0 1 0 01
MIN 0 1 0 01

M. Fernandez (Wild - G): Saves: 23, Save Pct.: .958

J. Hedberg (Penguins - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .968

R. Park (Wild - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Turnabout: Wild mildly bummed by tie with Pens

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A short time ago, a tie with Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins would have been just fine with the Minnesota Wild.

Park
Park

But Thursday night was, well, a little disappointing.

Richard Park scored his second goal of the season to lift the Wild to a 1-1 tie with the Penguins, but Minnesota couldn't convert an overtime power play after Pittsburgh was penalized for too many men on the ice with 1:38 left.

"I thought at a time in the third period, because of a lack of energy, if we get a point we'll be fine,'' said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire, whose team ended its first two-game losing streak and remains on top of the Northwest Division with 23 points.

"But after what I saw at the end, well, you're disappointed,'' Lemaire said. "A power play at the end, you expect to get chances -- maybe score a goal.''

Johan Hedberg, who gave up seven goals in his last two starts, stopped 30 of Minnesota's shots. Marc Bergevin scored for the first time in two seasons for Pittsburgh, which finished its four-game road trip 0-2-1-1.

The Wild are unbeaten in six overtime games this season.

"Now everybody knows about them,'' Hedberg said. "It doesn't surprise anybody anymore.''

The Penguins, using NHL scoring leader Mario Lemieux on a new line with the speedy Alexandre Daigle and Martin Straka, weren't able to generate any more offense against Manny Fernandez.

"They weren't creating enough chances down there, so we made a little switch,'' Pittsburgh coach Rick Kehoe said. "You've got to give them credit. They did a good job on penalty kills -- they took away our lanes.''

Fernandez, who had lost his last three starts after beginning the season 6-0, made 23 saves.

"I guess we have to take it positively,'' Fernandez said. "It's a little frustrating, but we've been talking about getting back on track or at least staying there. I think tonight is a good start.''

Minnesota kept Hedberg busy in the first, getting 12 shots off before Pittsburgh even had two. Each team killed a double-minor penalty, with the Penguins failing to convert their 4-minute power play as Wild enforcer, Matt Johnson, sat in the box.

Johnson was called for charging and roughing after going high and hard at defenseman Josef Melichar in the corner. Pittsburgh's Jamie Pushor quickly retaliated by shoving Johnson in the back and was whistled for roughing. Doubled over on his knees for a few minutes, Melichar skated off and stayed in the game.

The Wild had their chances to win.

Wes Walz beat Dick Tarnstrom on a breakaway, but Hedberg rushed out to block him between the circles midway through the first period. Late in the second, Antti Laaksonen's shot hit the upper-right corner of the crossbar.

Jason Marshall nearly knocked in a loose puck in the crease in the third period, but Hedberg kicked it away. And Walz was denied on a 2-on-1 with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

Bergevin gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead on a one-timer from the blue line that slid past a screened Fernandez's glove.

The Wild tied it less than 3 minutes later when Sergei Zholtok found Filip Kuba slicing through the Penguins defense. Kuba was turned away by Hedberg, but Park knocked in the rebound for his second goal of the season.

"Sergei made a great play there,'' Park said. "Hopefully we can build off this.''

Game notes


NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in town to introduce the logo for the 2004 All-Star weekend, which will be held at the Wild's Xcel Energy Center. ... Penguins LW Vladimir Vujtek missed his sixth straight game because of a sore shoulder. ... Five of the Wild's 10 opponents at home this season have been limited to just one goal. ... The Wild are 2-1-1 against Pittsburgh. This was the only meeting between the teams this regular season. ... Pittsburgh, whose power play leads the league, went 0-for-3 with a man advantage.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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