Final

Series (Game 1 of 2)

Minnesota leads 2-0

Game 1: Thursday, September 21st
Blues2Final
Wild5
Game 2: Thursday, September 28th
Wild4Final
Blues2

Blues 2

(0-2-0, 0 pts)

Wild 5

(2-0-0, 4 pts)

8:00 PM ET, September 21, 2006

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
STL 2 0 02
MIN 1 3 15

B. Rolston (LW):

P. Nummelin (D):

P. Demitra (RW):

Minnesota 5, St. Louis 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Last season, a second-period deficit usually spelled defeat for the Minnesota Wild.

That might change this season.

Brian Rolston scored twice to lead Minnesota to a 5-2 come-from-behind win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night in a preseason game.

The revamped Wild signed Pavol Demitra, Mark Parrish and Kim Johnsson in the offseason, hoping to add more offense to a defensive-minded team. So far, things are working out, even though it's only the preseason.

"When we were behind today, I didn't think nothing bad would happen," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I was very confident."

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Demitra each added two assists for the Wild (2-0).

Petteri Nummelin, a 33-year-old who played in the Swiss League the last five years, also scored for Minnesota. Marian Gaborik and Demitra added the Wild's other goals.

Minnesota scored three power-play goals in all.

"We've got so much talent on the power play," Demitra said. "I'm looking forward to the season."

But there are still holes to fill. Lemaire continues to search for a defensive presence on the Demitra-Gaborik line.

"I'm still a little worried about the defense (on that line)," he said. "(Gaborik and Demitra) love to play deep in the offensive zone. I don't want to change that. I want to find someone who will play well defensively with them. I want them to play just like they are."

Demitra fed Gaborik in front of the net on Gaborik's second-period goal, a sight Wild fans hope to see often this season.

"(The coach) has to decide who he wants to play with us," Demitra said. "Obviously, they're looking for somebody who can play a little bit of defense and who can forecheck. A good skater, obviously. You know, guys who will go to the net for us and get us the puck in the corner."

Keith Tkachuk and Lee Stempniak tallied goals for the Blues (0-2).

St. Louis led 2-1 when Curtis Sanford replaced Manny Legace in goal at 10:38 of the second period. Sanford allowed three goals on five shots in the period, allowing Minnesota to grab a 4-2 lead before the second intermission.

Minnesota outshot St. Louis 25-22 in the game and 20-10 in the final two periods.

Tkachuk's goal came on a 5-on-3 power-play at 9:26 of the first, one of three 5-on-3 advantages for the Blues in the opening period.

Josh Harding stopped 20 shots to get the win.< ^NOTES:@ The Wild reduced their training camp roster to 37 by assigning left wing Danny Irmen, goalie Tony Quesada and defenseman A.J. Thelen to training camp for the Houston Aeros of the AHL, their primary development affiliate, and by assigning right wing Cal Clutterbuck to their junior team, Oshawa in the OHL.<

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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