<
>

Wild defense holds Blue Jackets to 16 shots in win

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild shunned the new
offensive style of the NHL and reverted to their pre-lockout
defensive ways.

Todd White scored twice and the Wild held Columbus to just 16
shots Saturday night in a 3-1 victory over the Blue Jackets that
snapped Minnesota's three-game winless streak.

Minnesota excelled on the penalty kill, fighting off eight of
nine.

"This is exactly how I want them to play," said Wild coach
Jacques Lemaire, contrasting the effort to Minnesota's 2-1 shootout
loss in Columbus on Friday night. "I know I can't get that for 80
games, but as much as I can get, that's what I want. Even if we
would've lost, to me it would have been a positive because I saw 20
guys work."

Minnesota's Manny Fernandez had 15 saves, improving to 4-1-1.

Near the midway point of the first period, David Vyborny opened
the scoring with a controversial power-play goal. Nikolai Zherdev
floated a knee-high pass across the front of the goal mouth, where
the puck hit Vyborny's leg and deflected past Fernandez. After a
lengthy video review, officials ruled Vyborny hadn't intentionally
redirected the puck.

"We had a good start, and then it dropped off big time," Blue
Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said. "We tried to get too cute and
just stood around and watched Minnesota play instead of playing our
game."

Minnesota tied it less than two minutes later on its first power
play. White poked in his own rebound after a pass from Alexandre
Daigle.

His second goal came with just 29.6 seconds remaining.

The Wild stepped up their second-period defense, holding the
Blue Jackets to just three shots and blocking six Columbus drives.
Minnesota got the only goal of the period when Brent Burns lifted a
backhander past goalie Martin Prusek on the stick side.

"We let them take the game to us in Columbus, and tonight for
the most part, they couldn't sustain the pressure," Wild forward
Brian Rolston said. "I think we equaled their intensity. We had
high energy and sustained it for three periods."

Prusek finished with 21 saves for his first loss.

"I don't think we played with any sense of urgency," Blue
Jackets forward Todd Marchant said. "We got off to a good start,
and then it slowly started to dwindle down."

Game notes
Vyborny was taken to the dressing room with nine minutes to
play after blocking Filip Kuba's shot. The puck appeared to hit
Vyborny's left arm. ... Both teams killed extended 5-on-3 power
plays in the second period. The Blue Jackets had a two-man
advantage for 1:49, and Minnesota had one for 1:04. ... Minnesota D
Andrei Zyuzin, who entered the game with just four minor penalties
this season, was whistled for five on Saturday.