Minnesota at Calgary

Wild cut down Flames for sixth consecutive win


CALGARY, Alberta -- Stopped on two scoring chances earlier in the game, Brian Rolston came through on his third opportunity.

Rolston scored the tiebreaking goal on a slap shot through the legs of Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff at 4:47 of the third period to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 4-2 victory over the Flames on Saturday night.

"Especially coming down the wing or even in the middle, I feel that I can beat goalies," Rolston said. "I'm not trying to be arrogant about it or anything like that. I'm shooting it for a reason, I'm not shooting it for a rebound."

"I had early opportunities that he made big saves on. You just keep on plugging away sometimes and they go in for you."

Kiprusoff turned aside a two great scoring opportunities by Rolston in the first period before finally getting his 29th goal.

"He had two chances like that tonight," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I thought he would score on the first one, he didn't. After the second one, I said here he goes again.

"He's a great shooter. He's a guy that can score from that position. He's done it many times this year. He's very dangerous when he comes off the wing and he lets that shot go."

Rolston's goal gave Minnesota its first lead and Pavol Demitra -- who had an assist earlier -- closed the scoring with 5:01 remaining to help the Wild get their sixth straight win overall and fifth in a row on the road.

Minnesota remained one point behind Vancouver for top spot in the Northwest Division. The Canucks beat Detroit 4-1 later Saturday night.

"Hopefully we can stay healthy and keep going," said Wild forward Marian Gaborik, who had a goal and an assist. "We're playing with a lot of confidence and we're playing as a team. We're playing our system. We're playing tight hockey and we showed it again.

"I don't think teams like to play against us when we're playing like that."

Stephane Veilleux also scored for the Wild, and Niklas Backstrom stopped 19 shots to improve to 18-8-5.

Daymond Langkow and Alex Tanguay scored for the Flames, losers of three straight after winning six of their previous eight. Calgary remained in eighth place in the Western Conference.

"We felt right in the game the whole way through but for some reason when you're in a slump, the puck always seems to bounce the other team's way and that's what it did tonight," Tanguay said. "We're very confident in our group. There's no reason to start doubting ourselves or pushing the panic button, but we certainly have to start finding ways to win hockey games, as opposed to finding ways to lose them."

It took the Flames just 32 seconds to take the lead as a harmless-looking shot by Langkow handcuffed Backstrom and found the back of the net.

"The first shot going in like that was a definite break," Calgary captain Jarome Iginla said. "But they played tight."

The Wild didn't get their first shot of the game until the 6:25 mark of the opening period when Kiprusoff made a pad save on a breakaway attempt by Rolston. Later in the period, Kiprusoff made another great pad save on Rolston.

With Iginla in the penalty box for hooking, Gaborik converted a nifty return pass in front of the net from Demitra to tie the score at 1-1 with 1:57 left in the first period.

Tanguay took a pass from Matthew Lombardi and quickly snapped a shot past Backstrom to put Calgary back ahead at 4:32 of the second.

Veilleux tied it again at 8:40, tipping a point shot by Keith Carney through Kiprusoff's legs and into the net.


  • With the win, Minnesota ended a seven-game losing streak at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The Flames have only lost three times to the Wild in their past 18 home games.
  • By setting up Langkow's first period goal, Iginla tied Kent Nilsson for sixth spot at 333 on the Flames all-time list for assists. He needs just four more helpers to pass both Paul Reinhart and Guy Chouinard and jump into fourth spot on the list.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Brian Rolston and Miikka Kiprusoff check the scoreboard after Rolston's winning goal. (AP)
Brian Rolston and Miikka Kiprusoff check the scoreboard after Rolston's winning goal. (AP)
Minnesota  (42-24-7) «1124
Calgary (37-25-10)1102
Three Stars
M. Gaborik

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
A. Tanguay

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Lombardi

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
00:32Daymond Langkow (29), Snap Shot - Assists: Jarome Iginla, Brad Stuart
18:03Power Play - Marian Gaborik (25), Slap Shot - Assist: Pavol Demitra
04:32Alex Tanguay (21), Tip-In - Assists: Matthew Lombardi, David Moss
08:40Stephane Veilleux (7), Tip-In - Assists: Keith Carney, Wyatt Smith
04:47Brian Rolston (31), Slap Shot - Assists: Wes Walz, Kurtis Foster
14:59Pavol Demitra (23), Wrist Shot - Assists: Marian Gaborik, Todd White
Penalty Summary
03:01Johnsson: Holding the stick - 2 min.
08:01Amonte: Holding - 2 min.
17:53Iginla: Hooking - 2 min.
06:04Primeau: Holding - 2 min.
11:46Johnsson: Holding the stick - 2 min.
06:15Ritchie: Hooking - 2 min.
16:05Langkow: Tripping - 2 min.
16:31Gaborik: High sticking - 2 min.
Niklas Backstrom60:00192
Miikka Kiprusoff58:15224
Game Information
Attendance - 19289
Referees - Mike Leggo, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Mark Wheler
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