ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Even Jacques Lemaire was at a loss for words about
his Minnesota Wild's sudden offensive outburst.
After going winless in their previous seven games, the Wild set a franchise
record with seven goals to beat Chicago 7-4 on Wednesday night.
"I don't even know," Lemaire said. "Maybe they started to move the puck a
little better, started to get confidence."
Eric Chouinard scored two goals, his first for the Wild since coming to
Minnesota last month in a trade with Philadelphia. He has five goals this
Dwayne Roloson stopped 15 of 16 shots in relief of Manny Fernandez, who
allowed three goals on 13 shots. Jason Wiemer, Nick Schultz, Richard Park,
Pascal Dupuis and Antti Laaksonen also scored to help the Wild end an 0-2-5
slide with their first victory since beating Columbus on Dec. 20.
"All of a sudden, we started to come and they couldn't handle us at all,"
Minnesota overcame two sluggish periods and won for the first time this year
when trailing at the start of the third period.
"We have to be ready at the start of the game," Chouinard said. "We know
we are capable of better. It wasn't all that pretty, but we'll take the two
Tyler Arnason had two goals for the Blackhawks, including a bizarre score in
the second period that was awarded to him after an official review. Igor
Korolev and Mark Bell added goals.
Chicago, which lost its 13th straight road game, led 4-2 in the second
period, but Minnesota scored five straight goals against Michael Leighton -- who
stopped only 12 of 18 shots.
"I thought we had them going into the third, but Minnesota played really
well," Bell said.
With the Blackhawks leading 3-2, Arnason skated past the side of the goal
and tried to backhand a shot past Roloson's leg. The puck appeared to get
lodged between the post and Roloson's skate. Replays showed it was knocked into
Schultz then began Minnesota's onslaught with a wrist shot that beat
Leighton at 13:18 of the second to pull the Wild to 4-3.
Lemaire said Schultz's goal seemed to re-energize the team.
"It gave us a little spark," the coach said. "I could see after that the
guys were maybe more in control. Through the first and the second, guys were
Park tied it 3:02 of the third on a slap shot from the right circle.
Leighton chased the puck behind the net, but Andrew Brunette easily got to it
first and passed it to Park, who had a clear shot.
Chouinard gave the Wild the lead for good at 9:58 on a hard shot from the
right circle. Dupuis added another at 11:51 and Laaksonen had an empty-netter
"It seemed like every scoring chance they had in the third went it," Bell
The 11 goals tied the highest-scoring game in Xcel Energy Center history.
Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 6-5 on Oct. 18, 2000, for the Wild's first win in
Tied 1-1 after the first period, Chicago quickly regained the lead when
Arnason backhanded a rebound over Fernandez at 1:38.
Just 2:20 later, Bell scored from the left circle for his 22nd goal of the
season to make it 3-1. The crowd's boos turned to cheers when Roloson replaced
Fernandez after the goal.
"When they switched goalies, that really seemed to give them a boost,"