Manny Fernandez had 24 saves for his first shutout of the season
for the Wild (5-0-0), who are off to the best start in franchise
history. It was the first regulation loss for Columbus. Minnesota,
which entered the game with the NHL's top power-play unit, scored a
pair of man-advantage goals.
"It felt good because the power play was going well and we had
control of the game," said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire. "We
had a slow start, and we were a little fortunate that maybe they
had the same kind of start."
The Blue Jackets, who had scored a dozen goals in their first
three games, had not been shutout since March 2. Their best
offensive opportunity came in the opening minutes when Rick Nash
got open in front of Fernandez but clanked a backhand shot off the
"If Nash scores early in the first period, when he hit off the
crossbar, it could be a different game," Blue Jackets coach Gerard
Rolston, who leads the Wild with four goals, scored in the first
and third periods. Minnesota led 1-0 after one period, but broke
the game open in the second with goals by Keith Carney, Marian
Gaborik and Mikko Koivu.
"You don't win the Stanley Cup in October, or even make the
playoffs," said Rolston. "But it's a good start."
Pascal Leclaire gave up four goals before being lifted midway
through the second period. Rookie Fredrik Norrena replaced him and
finished with 11 saves in his NHL debut.
"We just came out flat, and we were flat the whole game," said
Blue Jackets forward Duvie Westcott, noting that the team hadn't
played since a home win with the Coyotes on Monday. "Guys didn't
have their legs. And the second period just killed us."
All of Minnesota's previous four wins had been by one goal,
including one in overtime and two in shootouts.
"It's hard to say how good we can be," said Minnesota coach
Jacques Lemaire, whose team plays three road games in California
starting Wednesday in Los Angeles. "We'll have to go on the road
and play some. At that point I think we'll know a little bit more
about our team."
Carney's goal was his first since October 26, 2005, when he
was skating for Anaheim. ... Norrena won two games for Finland
during the 2006 Winter Olympics, shutting out Italy and Germany.
... Wild wing Mattias Weinhandl played just one shift after a
jarring open-ice collision with Blue Jackets center Manny Malhotra
in the second period. Lemaire said that Weinhandl is out
indefinitely and will undergo tests on Sunday.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Xcel Energy Center Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Referees: Gord Dwyer Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Andy McElman
Attendance: 18,568 (102.8% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Brian Rolston (3)
Assist: Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Keith Carney (1)
Assists: Branko Radivojevic, Mikko Koivu
Marian Gaborik (3)
(Power Play) Assists: Pavol Demitra, Brian Rolston
Mikko Koivu (2)
Assists: Stephane Veilleux, Kurtis Foster
Brian Rolston (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Petteri Nummelin