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The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

The R.S.S. Feed: March 10, 2009

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
Sharks at Wild: Game preview

We'll also have a mailbag this week, so send your questions to me at
Post-game wrap-up
As Jacques Lemaire said: "Are we amazing after 0-3 or what?" But he continued "I don't like it."

It was great for the fans, as the Wild just built relentless pressure after going down 3-0 early in the second. The Wild with a big point - any point is big against San Jose, or when you are down three goals - and is now tied for ninth with Dallas (two games left with the Stars), and just one point back of Nashville and Edmonton, which each got one point tonight.

What a night for Owen Nolan (two goals), Marc-Andre Bergeron (one assist, +3, seven shots, four hits, three blocked shots) and CalClutterbuck (franchise-record 10 hits, and a great play falling down to keep alive the first goal, scored by Peter Olvecky.

Post-game notes are below. Aaron Sickman is on the next trip, which runs Wednesday-Sunday. The Wild won't practice tomorrow, instead working out at the hotel in Denver. I'll be on here on and off over the next five days, while watching some high school hockey.
D Christian Ehrhoff scored 3:34 into overtime, as the San Jose Sharks surrendered a three-goal lead but prevailed for a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild in front of 18,568 at Xcel Energy Center. C Joe Thornton scored twice, D Dan Boyle recorded a goal and an assist, and G Brian Boucher made 25 saves.

RW Owen Nolan scored his 400th and 401st NHL goals in the final seven minutes of regulation, as the Wild rallied from three goals down to force overtime against the Sharks for the second time in five days. LW Peter Olvecky and RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard each scored, C Mikko Koivu registered two assists and G Niklas Backstrom made 18 saves for the Wild, which begins a three-game road trip Thursday in Colorado. Minnesota is in a stretch where it plays 9-of-10, and 14-of-17, on the road.

RW Owen Nolan scored two goals to give him 20 this season, and 401 in his NHL career. He became the 15th active player to reach the 400-goal plateau. Nolan, who played parts of eight seasons with San Jose, has 841 points (401-440=841) in 1,111 NHL games. Nolan’s second goal left the New York Islanders as the lone NHL team this season without a 20-goal scorer.

Minnesota fell to 0-13-2 this season when allowing four or more goals, and is 0-17-2 in that circumstance since a 5-4 win over Nashville on Feb. 17, 2008.

LW Peter Olvecky scored his second goal this season – first in eight games since Feb. 22 against Chicago. Olvecky has four points (2-2=4) in 19 games in this, his rookie season.

RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored his 16th goal of the season. Bouchard’s career-high for goals is 20, set in 2006-07. Bouchard is the Wild’s second leading scorer this season with 43 points (16-27=43). The Wild fell to 32-4-2 when Bouchard scores a goal, dating back to Dec. 23, 2006.

D Kim Johnsson had an assist, giving him a four-game assist streak, with five helpers in that span. His career-high is five games, set twice, most recently from Oct. 12-22, 2002. Johnsson is also plus-six in the last four games.

Rookie RW Cal Clutterbuck posted an assist for the second straight game and added a new franchise-record 10 hits, increasing his NHL-leading total to 272. The NHL record is 311, set last season by Los Angeles’ Dustin Brown.

Minnesota fell to 21-25-3 against the Western Conference this season. The Wild hasn’t had a losing record against the West since 2003-04. Tonight’s game marked the 11th of 15 straight against the West.

Each of Minnesota’s last four games has been decided by one goal (2-1-1). The Wild fell to 17-10-6 in one-goal games this season.

The Wild is 1-1-3 in its last five home games and is 18-12-5 at Xcel Energy Center this season. Minnesota went 25-11-5 at home in 2007-08, and 29-7-5 in 2006-07.

3rd period
Let's see if the home team can get a PPG here in the opening 56 seconds, trailing 3-1.

Power play over, but big goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Just about the same shot that got the Wild within a goal in last week's comeback over San Jose. Quick shot from the right circle after a pass from Kim Johnsson, and Boucher had no chance. It's 3-2 Sharks. Bouchard nets his 16th goal.

And Milan Michalak restores the Sharks' lead to two goals. He cuts in from the right circle, in traffic, and roofed a shot over Backstrom for his 18th goal of the season. It's 4-2 San Jose.

Owen Nolan registered his 400th career goal a few minutes ago to cut the lead to 4-3.

And he just got No. 401! We are tied up! Gonna be crazy folks.

2nd period
Minnesota T-Wolves sensation Kevin Love is in the booth immediately behind me in the press box.


A hooking call to Mikko Koivu, and the Sharks (0-for-1) go on the power play.

And a second after the penalty expires, Stephane Veilleux goes for hooking.

Joe Thornton pops a rebound into an open net for his 19th goal of the season. The Sharks' struggles appear to be over. But, if you remember, this team had a 3-0 lead against the Wild five days ago and lost.

And the Wild has life! What persistence by Peter Olvecky, who nets his second goal of the season. Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot from the top of the left circle got blocked in front. Cal Clutterbuck first got his stick on the rebound, and then Olvecky streaked in from the left circle, and despite getting his stick held, knocked the puck just inside the far crossbar. It's 3-1 Sharks.


The Wild is swarming around the Sharks net. Eight straight shots, starting with the Olvecky goal. Boucher has been giving up some juicy rebounds. Make that seven straight, a shot was just taken off the Wild side of the scoreboard.


Continued pressure by Minnesota, and it leads to a power play chance here to end the second period. Holding the call to toughguy Jody Shelley. The Wild is 0-for-3 thus far on the power play.

End 2nd period

Couple good chances there, some nice passing, but the Wild couldn't beat Boucher. They've got 20 minutes to do so two more times.

1st period

Wild starters: Backstrom, Johnsson, Schultz, Miettinen, Koivu and Nolan.
Sharks starters: Boyle, Lukowich, Moen, Thornton and Cheechoo.

Tonight's Let's Play Hockey comes from Scott Faust of Hill-Murray and former Olympian Don Ross of Roseau, to kick off the boys high school hockey tournament. Ross is the father of Xcel Energy Center's PR guru, Kathy O'Connor.


We're underway.

You won't see a more unfortunate bounce result in a goal. Joe Thornton flips the puck out of the left corner. It goes off Nick Schultz, straight up in the air and over Backstrom's shoulder for his 10th goal of the season. Maybe that one gets these teams even, after Marek Zidlicky's "flicker" forced OT last week in San Jose. It's 1-0 Sharks.


No shots yet for the Wild.


Brad Staubitz goes for holding the stick, and the Wild gets the game's first power play.


A high shot from the point by Kim Johnsson. Boucher drops the rebound, but quickly covers up.


A holding call to the man they call "Pickles" - Marc-Edouard Vlasic (get it?) Power play No. 2 for the Wild.

After Backstrom stones Patrick Marleau on a shorthanded breakaway, Travis Moen pops a rebound under Backstrom's pads for his first goal as a Shark. Marleau started the play by blocking Marek Zidlicky's shot at the left point. Wild still on the power play.


Aaron Sickman is a bit tardy enrolling young Evan in kindergarten, so I'm headed downstairs for the intermission.

End 1st period

I missed a penalty on the way downstairs, but that was it. Sharks 2-0 after one, with an 8-3 shots advantage.

Pre-game warm-ups
Brent Burns, Kurtis Foster, Craig Weller and Derek Boogaard are out tonight for the Wild. Evgeni Nabokov and Rob Blake are the Sharks' scratches.

I met up with Sharks equipment manager Rick Bronwell for lunch. Bronwell and I were buddies with the AHL's Houston Aeros. If you're watching on TV tonight, he's the guy with the wicked mustache. Joe Thornton promised him he would buy him a new, high end guitar if Ricky B. grew it the rest of the year. Rick's wife, Heather, hates it. Interesting because Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Brunette told me on the road trip that I should shave most of my goatee, and leave just the mustache. But they didn't offer to buy me anything...

Monday, 12:20 p.m. CDT

Coming to you live from my cubicle on 317 Washington St. for the first time in almost two weeks. It feels weird to be back. It will feel good to be back in Seat 51 tonight in the Al Shaver Press Box, or, where the magic happens, as I like to say.

All the players and coaches were on the ice for this morning’s pre-game skate. Except for Brent Burns, who is still ill and has a doctor’s appointment today. Marian Gaborik skated before the team, and is expected to travel to Denver tomorrow with the team. He will practice with the team “when ready.” I won’t be on this next trip – I plan on enjoying some R&R and some boys high school hockey at Xcel Energy Center after being gone for 11 days.

In addition to Burns, it looks like Kurtis Foster, Craig Weller and Derek Boogaard are out tonight. Boogaard is eligible to return from his five-game NHL suspension, but was one of the last guys off the ice. Niklas Backstrom will start in net for the Wild, opposite Brian Boucher. The Sharks are a shell of their former NHL-leading selves, with many injuries. The latest is Rob Blake, who didn’t
make the trip. But San Jose is still tied for the top spot in the West.

One final, quick story from Sunday that I forgot to mention. I was taking my credential out of my pocket to get on the elevator in Anaheim, and, all of a sudden, I got tapped on the shoulder. A lady said “Sir, I think you lost your pen.” Another lady walks up to me and hands me my pen, which had flown out of my pocket and landed in -- yes, IN -- her hair. She didn’t see it, just felt something hit her, and then pulled the pen out. It was that type of night Sunday.

Tonight’s press meal. I’m pretty excited.

Baked potato beer cheese soup
BBQ glazed meatloaf
chicken fried chicken with country gravy
mashed potatoes
vegetable medley
croissant bread pudding
apple crisp
assorted ice cream bars
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