ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- They faced the same opponent in the same
arena two nights earlier, but the recharged Vancouver Canucks
skated like a completely different team.
"Playing a top team, you've got to be on your toes," said Wild
coach Jacques Lemaire, who watched his team dismantle Vancouver 6-0
on Wednesday. "They don't go on a road trip and lose two games in
"We have to play the same way whether we're pushing or
protecting," coach Marc Crawford said. "The guys did a pretty
good job at keeping their composure."
On an assist from new linemate Naslund, Park fired an
uncontested wrist shot from the back of the left circle that got
past goalie Dwayne Roloson early in the third period.
Roloson expected his ex-teammate to pass.
"He schooled me on it," said Roloson, who made 36 saves. "All
those years of practice and he got me."
Park, an unrestricted free agent who signed with Vancouver in
August after three solid seasons with the Wild, downplayed the
benefit of the line shuffle that moved him up to play with Naslund
and Brendan Morrison. Struggling All-Star Todd Bertuzzi was bumped
back to skate with Ryan Kesler and Matt Cooke.
"I think, more than anything, it was just to take some pressure
off Bert," Park said. "Now that he got that first one, I think
you're going to see the old Todd."
Bertuzzi's resurgence seemed to mirror his team's. After Roloson
was pulled with one minute left, he found a wayward puck, broke
free and scored into the empty net for his first goal of the
"I was really happy for Todd," Park said. "He's come under a
lot of scrutiny, and no one can put themselves in his shoes."
The Canucks held a 13-1 shots advantage in the first period and
hung on during an active second period while the Wild came to life
a bit -- scoring three times. After Wes Walz's backhander tied it at
1, Pierre-Marc Bouchard chipped in a power-play goal midway through
Minnesota's defense went soft for a while, letting Naslund score
on a wraparound and Kesler score on a breakaway to give the Canucks
a 3-2 lead. With 45 seconds left before the intermission, though,
Brian Rolston sent a power-play slap shot into the back of the net
to tie it again.
Though the regular season is barely one week old, the Wild
brought the NHL's best penalty kill (26-for-27) into the game.
Vancouver quickly took them down a notch, taking a 1-0 lead early
in the first on Carter's unassisted score with a one-man advantage.
Willie Mitchell tried to clear the rebound of Carter's first
shot but didn't get a clean hit on the puck -- allowing Carter to
snag it and score.
Lemaire insisted he was pleased by the effort, though he didn't
like seeing his normally speedy team skate with heavy legs. Perhaps
that was one reason why the Canucks controlled the puck throughout
the game and covered the ice as well as they could.
"At the beginning of the game, we were watching them skate,"
Rolston said. "We did not take our game to them. They took their
game to us. ... It's promising that the games we haven't played
well in we're one goal away from, but if we want to win hockey
games we've got to take it to the other team."
Minnesota C Todd White was scratched because of a thigh
bruise. ... Bertuzzi, reinstated by the NHL this season after a
suspension stemming from his much-maligned hit on Colorado's Steve
Moore, has only one assist in five games. ... The Wild, who entered
the game with the league's second-best power play, went 2-for-3 and
are now 8-for-22.