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Wild 4, Ducks 1

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Manny Fernandez made 22 saves and matched his career high with his sixth straight victory in the Minnesota Wild's 4-1 win over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Saturday night.

Marian Gaborik and Todd White each had a goal and an assist to help the Wild win for the ninth time in their last 13 games and move past Anaheim into ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

Randy Robitaille scored the go-ahead goal, and Derek Boogaard also scored for the Wild, 1-1 on their seven-game homestand.

Fernandez, who had an assist in the third period, also won six consecutive games from Dec. 17, 2001, to Jan. 10, 2002, and from Oct. 11-29, 2002. He entered the game leading the NHL in goals-against average (2.02) and save percentage (93.1).

Todd Fedoruk scored for the Mighty Ducks, who finished a five-game trip 2-3. Ilja Bryzgalov stopped 32 shots and lost for just the third time in his last nine starts.

Anaheim, coming off a 4-3 shootout loss Friday night in Dallas in which it blew a 3-0 lead after the first period, trailed 2-1 after two periods and gave up two quick goals in the third to end any thoughts of a comeback.

Gaborik put Minnesota up 3-1 when he took a nifty blue line-to-blue line pass from Stephane Veilleux and knocked a low wrist shot from the slot past Bryzgalov 2:26 into the third.

The Wild quickly got another goal when Fernandez fired an outlet pass to Gaborik, who dropped off a pass to a streaking White. White deked Anaheim's Ruslan Salei before beating Bryzgalov from the left circle at 3:22.

Minnesota improved to 16-0-0 this season when scoring four or more goals. The Wild are 4-18-4 when they score three goals or fewer.

Robitaille's ninth goal, with 5:42 left in the first period, gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

Boogaard, a rookie left wing, put Minnesota up 1-0 at 9:08 of the first period when he collected Brent Burns' long pass off the boards and backhanded a shot past an out-of-position Bryzgalov. It was Boogaard's second goal of the season and first since Oct. 19 against San Jose.

The Mighty Ducks answered a little more than 2 minutes later. Fedoruk corralled the rebound from Andy McDonald's slap shot and easily slipped a backhanded past Fernandez.

Notes: Minnesota forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard missed the game because of a a strained neck. Bouchard was injured Thursday night in a loss to Colorado. ... Anaheim center Rob Neidermayer missed his second straight game because of a mild concussion. ... The Mighty Ducks have allowed 29 second-period goals, the fewest in the NHL. ... Wild center Brian Rolston's seven-game point streak ended.

Click here for the official score sheet from tonight's contest.

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