ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Alexandre Daigle knows a thing or two about
comebacks, and it showed Sunday.
Daigle, who has revived his once-promising NHL career this season, scored
the winning goal and added an assist as the Minnesota Wild rallied to defeat
the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Sunday.
With the game tied 2-2 early in the third period, Daigle took a pass from
Marian Gaborik and sprinted up the left boards, fighting off a Columbus
defender. Goaltender Marc Denis got most of Daigle's low shot between the pads,
but the puck trickled behind the goalie toward the net. Denis swung his stick
at the puck, attempting to clear it away, and knocked it into the net.
``I saw it get through, but I didn't think it was going in,'' said Daigle.
``It was a total lucky bounce. (Denis) swung at it and hit it just right with
his stick. Really lucky bounce.''
The loss extended the Blue Jackets' slide to six games, while the Wild are
unbeaten in their last five (2-0-3).
``I'm having a hard time,'' Denis admitted. ``This is no fun. This is
pathetic. I don't think anyone in this dressing room can say they are playing
their best hockey.''
After a scoreless opening period, Columbus got going on David Vyborny's
power-play goal. Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez stopped a long-range shot
by Anders Eriksson, only to see the rebound bounce right to Vyborny at the
right of the net. Vyborny flipped a backhander past Fernandez for his first
goal in the past seven games.
Trevor Letowski scored another power-lay goal midway in the period. But
Minnesota sent 16 shots at the Columbus net in the second and evened the score
in the final three minutes of the period.
``For the first 37 minutes we were real solid, and then we had a
three-minute lapse,'' said Letowski. ``It's very repetitive lately, but we just
can't get a break.''
Richard Park scored on a shot that hit Denis' glove and trickled in. Then
Nick Schultz tied the game on a rising wrist shot with 23.1 seconds left in the
Prior to the Wild comeback, Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire had reduced
Daigle's playing time Sunday.
``I felt that (Daigle) wasn't playing as well as he could, so I tried some
other guys, then came back to him,'' said Lemaire. ``That's when he scored.''
Fernandez finished with 19 saves, while Denis had 27.