VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Patience finally paid off for
After falling behind 1-0 early, Linden and the Canucks knew it
would be tough to score against the stingy Wild, especially against
goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who shut out Vancouver 1-0 on Nov. 11.
"It's a test of patience and it's frustrating," Linden said.
"They play us well and their goaltending always seems to play well
against us. We just tried to tell ourselves to stick with our plan
and keep executing our plan and that was just to get lots of shots
Linden collected the puck at the side of the net with his back
to the goal after Mattias Ohlund threw it through the crease. He
spun back and his wrist shot bounced off the inside of Roloson's
left pad and trickled in.
"I couldn't get the backhand on it so I spun around and just
tried to get it to the net," Linden said.
Christoph Brandner scored early and Roloson made 33 saves for
the Wild, who have scored just one goal in six straight games.
"You try not to worry about it," Roloson said of the lack of
offensive support. "I worry about stopping the puck and I can't
control what my teamates are doing."
Minnesota only has one win in the last seven games, but did
manage to wrap up their three-game Western road trip at 1-1-1
despite the lack of offense.
"We can't get down just because we score one goal -- we play
good defense," said Brandner, who returned after missing two games
with the flu. "For sure maybe we got to put another chance in the
net, but I think that's coming."
The Wild, playing for the second straight night, gave up the
first nine shots to Vancouver and were outshot 34-17 overall. But
Roloson was sharp, stopping Daniel Sedin and Todd Bertuzzi from in
close during an early power play.
"He was really big for them on the first power play," Bertuzzi
said. "We were moving the puck real well and had a lot of
top-notch chances. He set the tone."
Brandner opened the scoring 6:57 in on Minnesota's first shot.
He spun off a soft check by Bryan Allen at the side of the net and
beat Hedberg with a high wrist shot on the glove side.
It was the third straight game Minnesota has scored in the
opening 10 minutes.
"As soon as they get the first goal they're going to sit back
and try to shut it down," Hedberg said. "We kept playing our game
and finally got rewarded."
After giving up two third-period goals in Friday's 2-1 loss to
Calgary -- the first time in 47 games Minnesota blew a lead after
two periods -- the Wild did a better job shutting things down in the
They allowed just three shots before Linden finally scored to
"The guys decided to work a lot harder tonight," Minnesota
coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I'll take a point any night against
them. This is a team among the elite in the NHL."
The only other time Naslund missed a game since returning
from a broken leg 199 games ago was to attend the birth of his
third child on March 12, 2002. ... Wild C Jason Weimer missed a
second game with a charley horse. Vancouver LW Matt Cooke missed
his fifth game with a nerve injury in his left shoulder and won't
play Tuesday against Pittsburgh, but said between periods he will
be re-examined by a neurosurgeon Wednesday and hopes to play
Thursday against Colorado. ... Minnesota is 0-4-1 in the second
half of games on consecutive nights this season.