Fernandez stopped all 18 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes
to help the Wild hold on for a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues
on Saturday night.
"We talked about it at the end of the second period," said
Fernandez, who finished with 38 saves. "They had taken some
penalties at the end of the second, and we knew we were due some,
and they would get their chances."
The Blues did get two power plays in the third period, but were
unsuccessful. Despite the number of shots, Fernandez felt his team
was solid defensively.
"I can't say enough about how well they played in front of
me," he said. "They blocked a lot of shots and helped make things
easier for me."
Fernandez has allowed just four goals in his last three games.
"He played great," the Blues' Barret Jackman said. "We threw
everything at him but we've still got to find a way to put it by
him. We put all the rebounds to the side or their defensemen
cleared them, so I give them credit for their defense and their
Brian Rolston had a goal to extend his scoring streak to five
games, and Marian Gaborik added two assists for the Wild, who
overcame a two-goal deficit. Andrei Zyuzin and Marc Chouinard also
scored for Minnesota, which won its third straight overall and
first on the road this season.
"That's probably the best game we've played all year from the
standpoint of throwing pucks on net," the Blues' Dallas Drake
said. "We had a lot of chances, [Fernandez] just played well."
While Fernandez was holding down the fort, Chouinard was
converting a lucky bounce into the game-winning goal.
The Wild completed the comeback from a 2-0 deficit when Gaborik
got the puck in the left circle and shot wide of Lalime. The puck
bounced hard off the end boards, catching Lalime out of position,
and Chouinard was there to poke it home at 4:41 of the third
"When things are going good, the puck starts rolling your
way," Chouinard said.
The Blues took the lead 17:32 into the game when Gaborik's
clearing attempt went right to Sillinger, and he beat Fernandez
with shot from between the circles. Rycroft made it 2-0 at 1:11 of
the second period when he poked in the rebound of Christian
Backman's shot from the right point.
The Wild, who entered the game with the NHL's top-ranked power
play, tied the game before the period was over with two goals with
Rolston scored at 7:35 when he moved in from the point and beat
Lalime with a wrist shot from the right circle. Zyuzin scored at
18:37, taking a centering pass from Brent Burns and blasting one by
"We felt good coming into the dressing room with a tie game,"
said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire, "especially after spotting them
the first two. They're a hard team to come back on."
Rolston has a point in seven of Minnesota's eight games.
... The Blues were winless against the Wild in 2003-04 (0-2-2-0),
and have not beaten the Wild since a 2-0 win on March 1, 2003. ...
Randy Robitaille got his 100th career assist on Zyuzin's goal.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Scottrade Center Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Referees: Kerry Fraser, Eric Furlatt Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Don Henderson
Attendance: 13,903 (72.6% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Mike Sillinger (1)
Assists: Dallas Drake, Petr Cajanek
Mark Rycroft (1)
Assists: Jay McClement, Christian Backman
Brian Rolston (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Marian Gaborik, Marc Chouinard
Andrei Zyuzin (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Brent Burns, Randy Robitaille
Marc Chouinard (6)
Assists: Marian Gaborik, Alexandre Daigle