ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Standing 10th in the Western Conference, the
Minnesota Wild are desperate for wins and points.
On Thursday night, they finally played like it.
Marc Chouinard scored two goals to lead an offensive outburst as the Wild
routed the Vancouver Canucks 6-2.
Marian Gaborik, Andrew Brunette and Antti Laaksonen each had a goal and an
assist, and Alex Henry had the first goal of his NHL career for the Wild, who
got 26 saves from Dwayne Roloson. Laaksonen scored on a penalty shot in the
``Probably the most intense game this hockey team has played,'' Wild coach
Jacques Lemaire said.
The Canucks outshot the Wild 28-22, but Minnesota had the better scoring
chances. The Wild scored three times in both the first and second periods
against the Canucks, who have lost four of five games.
``It was a bad performance by us,'' Canucks coach Marc Crawford said.
``We've got no excuses and we will all take the responsibility for it. ... We
have to be concerned with how we played tonight.''
Vancouver goaltender Dan Cloutier, coming off a shutout at Colorado, gave up
four goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Johan Hedberg in the second
period. Todd Bertuzzi and Mattias Ohlund scored for the Canucks, who are
without the injured Markus Naslund.
``We didn't play with any emotion,'' Crawford said. ``We didn't play with
any type of enthusiasm. If there's any consolation, it's that it was all the
way through the lineup. The only solace is that it was a total team
Minnesota, pushing for the final playoff spot in the West, has scored 10
goals in its last two games.
``We don't have too many games left and we're still out of the playoff
spot,'' said Chouinard, who had his first-career two-goal game. ``This was sort
of desperation for the team. Guys that have been there before want to go there
Chouinard gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead off a pretty pass from Andrei Zyuzin at
3:56 of the first period.
The Wild started gaining steam on Laaksonen's penalty shot with 5:05 left in
the period. With Vancouver on a power play, Laaksonen got the puck in the
neutral zone and streaked toward the net, but was dragged down from behind by
On the penalty shot, Laaksonen deked left, brought the puck back right and
backhanded it over Cloutier's pads, drawing a loud ovation.
Less than five minutes later, Brunette made it 3-0 on a wraparound.
``We needed a good game, especially at home,'' Brunette said. ``We haven't
played very well at home. ... Actually, we've played terrible at home. So to
come in here and play like this against a top team, especially Vancouver, makes
The Wild improved to 13-12-6-1 at home.
Bertuzzi's power-play goal at 1:37 of the second pulled the Canucks to 3-1.
But Chouinard answered with his second goal. He tipped in a backhanded pass
from Alexandre Daigle to give the Wild a 4-1 lead and send Cloutier to the
Two nights after scoring three times at New Jersey, Gaborik assisted on
Henry's goal at 7:43 of the second, then added an impressive score of his own
for just his 10th goal of the season.
After taking a long pass from Laaksonen, Gaborik fought off Brent Sopel and
backhanded a shot from just below the right circle into the upper left corner.
Lemaire said Gaborik played with more confidence after his hat trick against
``Now you can see that he wants the puck more,'' the coach said.