Nashville at Minnesota

Foster helps Wild with first two NHL goals

CBS wire reports

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- On a night when a former Minnesota player was remembered, the newest member of the Wild had a game he'll never forget.

Kurtis Foster scored his first two NHL goals and the Wild ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Foster, who led AHL defensemen in scoring with 15 points in 19 games, was recalled from Houston on Thursday. Before his appearance, Minnesota defensemen had scored just nine goals.

Foster's first goal came 1:55 into the game when a shot from the point deflected off a Nashville player and trickled between Tomas Vokoun's pads.

The goal came after an emotional pregame ceremony that honored the life of Sergei Zholtok, who played for Nashville, Minnesota, Boston, Ottawa, Montreal and Edmonton during his career. Zholtok died Nov. 3, 2004, of heart failure while playing for a team from his native Latvia during the lockout. A video tribute was played, and both teams gave mementos to Zholtok's son, Edgar, who wiped away tears.

Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire was worried how the tribute would affect his team.

"I was scared. I was really scared. Because even myself, I started to look at the screen and I only could look for 5 seconds because it started to get me," Lemaire said.

Stephane Veilleux made it 2-0 at 10:44, before Paul Kariya cut the lead in half with a power-play goal less than 4 minutes later.

Foster's second goal -- on a slap shot 13:04 into the second period -- gave the Wild a 3-1 lead. He's the first Wild player to score two goals in his first game with the franchise.

Foster was waiting at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for a connecting flight to Winnipeg with his AHL team, Houston, when assistant general manager Tom Lynn called him with the news.

"I was like, 'Good luck in Winnipeg, guys, I'm going that way,"' Foster said.

Foster previously played in five games over two seasons for Atlanta, getting one assist.

Nashville lost for the first time in five games, and for just an NHL-best third time in regulation this season.

"I almost didn't know how to react," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "There's times that you play extremely poorly and you know what to feel. Today, we just didn't capitalize on our chances and they capitalized on a few of their chances."

The Predators, who have scored 10 power play goals in its last four games, cut the lead to 3-2 on a power-play goal by Marek Zidlicky with 7:40 remaining. The Predators finished 2-for-7 against the NHL's top penalty killers. Minnesota was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

But Brian Rolston scored a power play goal less than three minutes to secure the win for Minnesota, which blew a 2-0 third-period lead in its last outing Monday night and was put through some lengthy practices by Lemaire in the days since.

"Overall we got exactly what we had all week. We had good practices. Guys worked really hard and they just played the way they've practiced all week," Lemaire said. "Everyone help each other on the ice, you get a better team."

Fernandez finished with 30 saves, including clutch saves on Kariya, Scottie Upshall and Adam Hall midway through the final period.

"When we were getting back in the game I thought Fernandez stood tall," Trotz said.

Vokoun, who lost for the first time in five games, finished with 24 saves, including a sliding pad stop on Todd White's tip in the second period.


  • Mikko Koivu had his first three career assists for Minnesota.
  • Nashville recalled C Vern Fiddler from Milwaukee of the AHL. He went scoreless, as he did in two games earlier this season.
  • C Todd White returned to the Minnesota lineup after missing five games with a strained groin. The Wild are still without Marian Gaborik (hip flexor) and Marc Chouinard (shoulder).
  • Steve Sullivan, Nashville's second-leading scorer, missed his second straight game with a groin injury.
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Predators winger Martin Erat battles Wild center Todd White for the puck.  (AP)
Predators winger Martin Erat battles Wild center Todd White for the puck. (AP)
Related Links
Nashville (12-3-3)1012
Minnesota  (9-9-2) «2114
Three Stars
K. Foster

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
B. Rolston

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
F. Kuba

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
01:55Kurtis Foster, Slap Shot - Assists: Brian Rolston and Mikko Koivu
10:44Stephane Veilleux (2), Tip-In - Assists: Filip Kuba and Matt Foy
14:10Power Play - Paul Kariya (7), Wrist Shot - Assists: Marek Zidlicky and Kimmo Timonen
13:04Kurtis Foster, Wrist Shot - Assists: Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
12:40Power Play - Marek Zidlicky (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Dan Hamhuis and Adam Hall
15:27Power Play - Brian Rolston (9), Tip-In - Assists: Filip Kuba and Mikko Koivu
Penalty Summary
04:03Foy: Holding - 2 min.
12:31Kuba: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
15:50White: Hooking - 2 min.
19:13Vokoun: Delaying Game - 2 min.
02:14Foy: High sticking - 2 min.
02:14Suter: Roughing - 2 min.
04:44White: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
08:08Hordichuk: Roughing - 2 min.
18:12Robitaille: Interference - 2 min.
05:49Timonen: Hooking - 2 min.
10:37Tjarnqvist: Hooking - 2 min.
12:07Walz: Cross Check - 2 min.
15:02Suter: Hooking - 2 min.
19:58Mitchell: Slashing - 2 min.
19:58Hartnell: Boarding - 2 min.
19:58Hartnell: Roughing - 2 min.
Nashville101012 32
Minnesota6139 28
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Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Don Van Massenhoven
Line Judges - Mike Cvik, Darren Gibbs
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