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                    === Bouchard, Wild edge Blue Jackets ===
 
 St.  Paul, MN  (Sports Network) - Pierre-Marc Bouchard netted the game-winning
 goal  late  in the third  period to lift the  Minnesota Wild over the Columbus
 Blue Jackets, 3-2, at Xcel Energy Center.
 
 Mikko  Koivu added  a goal and an  assist, while Tom Gilbert also lit the lamp
 for  the Wild,  who snapped a three-game slide. Niklas Backstrom made 17 saves
 in the victory.
 
 Mark  Letestu  and Jack Johnson supplied  the offense for Columbus, which lost
 for the fifth time in six games. Steve Mason stopped 23 shots in defeat.
 
 Columbus  trailed, 2-1, heading into the third period, but was able to tie the
 game  at  the 7:32 mark  of the  frame while on  the power play with Johnson's
 wrister  from  the blue line that  sailed through a crowd and past Backstrom's
 glove.
 
 "We came out a little soft and were playing too careful with the lead and they
 were  able  to get  some momentum  out of  it," Bouchard  said about the third
 period.  "That's a learning process. We have got to be better when we have the
 lead."
 
 Minnesota,  however,  regained the  lead with  5:19 remaining  in the third as
 Bouchard  received a pass at the blue line for a short breakaway and converted
 on the opportunity with a wrister into the top-left corner.
 
 Bouchard  was then  awarded a penalty shot  a little over a minute later for a
 chance  to  add an  insurance goal, but  his wrister from  the left circle was
 turned aside by Mason to keep it a one-goal game.
 
 The  Blue Jackets  could  not  capitalize on  the  missed opportunity  despite
 receiving  a  power play  soon after as  Backstrom made 10  saves in the final
 period to close out the game.
 
 "We  came  out and  played hard in  the third.  If guys are  waiting for me to
 motivate  them then we're going to have a tough time," Blue Jackets coach Todd
 Richards  said. "It's got to come from within and they have got to be ready to
 go and be ready to do the right things."
 
 Koivu  opened  the scoring  9:23 into the  first period when  he grabbed a big
 rebound  of a Jonas Brodin shot and skated around to the right side of the net
 before  bouncing  a shot off the  back of Mason and  into the net from a sharp
 angle.
 
 Gilbert  then made it  a 2-0 game heading into the second period as he fired a
 rebound into an open net with 1:39 left in the opening stanza.
 
 Letestu  got  the Blue Jackets  on the  board at the  14:59 mark of the second
 period  by stuffing  a loose  puck into  the  net from  in close  off a  James
 Wisniewski slap shot from the right point.
 
 Minnesota  seemed  to have answered less  than a minute later when Zach Parise
 batted  his own rebound out of midair and into the net, but a replay showed he
 punched it in with his glove to keep it a 2-1 game entering the third period.
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Bouchard's  tally was the 100th of his career ... Minnesota improved to 15-5-2
 at  home against Columbus  ... The Blue Jackets went 1-for-4 on the power play
 ... The Wild was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
 
 01/29 23:41:57 ET