NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Vancouver
(Friday, March 31st)
Final Score: Minnesota 2, Vancouver 1 (SO)
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Mikko Koivu scored the only shootout tally to lift the Minnesota Wild over the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1, in a defensive struggle at GM Place.
Marc Chouinard had the regulation goal while Manny Fernandez turned away 28 shots for Minnesota, which has won two of its last three but is still well out of the playoff picture.
Anson Carter had the lone Vancouver marker and both Daniel and Henrik Sedin donated assists for the Canucks, who are jockeying for position in the bottom of the Western Conference playoff race.
"I wish the season would be a little longer, but we got some pretty big teams coming up so I'll get tested even more," said Fernandez.
Koivu went first in the shootout session and gave the Wild an immediate advantage with a backhander that he elevated into the upper-right corner of the cage.
Fernandez stopped all three of Vancouver's ensuing tries, including a pad save on Daniel Sedin's offering, to end the game.
The Wild finally ended a scoreless stalemate at the 9:45 mark of the second period. With his team on the power play, Filip Kuba unleashed a slapshot from the point that hit off of Randy Robitaille before caroming off the skate of Chouinard and into the back of the net.
Fernandez helped that lead hold up for the next several minutes, as he denied Markus Naslund and Carter on a pair of second period breakaway attempts.
"We didn't have the inches on our side this game," Naslund said. "They had some great goaltending, too. Fernandez played a great game. He made some key saves, especially in the second."
Carter took a cross-ice feed from Daniel Sedin and punched the disc home from the right slot with 5:01 remaining in the middle frame, however, to knot the contest at 1-1.
Neither team was able to change the scoreboard for the remainder of regulation, and the overtime proved fruitless as well despite many quality chances -- particularly for Vancouver.
Carter has six goals and four assists over his last 10 games...Minnesota leads the league in power play kills with an 87.7 percentage. Vancouver went 0-for-5 with the man advantage Friday...This was the Wild's first win in eight trips to GM Place.
04/01 02:28:48 ET