NEXT GAME: CALGARY FLAMES AT COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
TOMORROW AT 5 P.M., TV: SPORTSNET, RADIO: FAN 960
SUN THREE STARS:
1. Marc Chouinard, Wild.
2. Miikka Kiprusoff, Flames.
3. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Wild.
Brent Burns scored with just 1.5 seconds remaining in the opening period, giving the Wild a solid 2-0 lead.
Already up a goal midway through the first period, Stephane Veilleux led a two-on-one rush for the hosts. He slipped across a perfect pass for Wes Walz who deked Miikka Kiprusoff only to be barely denied by the netminder's long leg.
Daymond Langkow had just dished off the puck in the offensive zone and couldn't elude the hard-charging Matt Foy, who pasted the Flames centre onto his backside.
Minny goalie Dwayne Roloson wasn't busy through the first 40 minutes and had some harrowing moments in the final period. But he came through in the end to keep the Wild unbeaten (4-0-1) all-time in home openers.
* FLAMES -- C Byron Ritchie was Calgary's lone healthy scratch. D Robyn Regehr (knee) will miss the first few weeks.
* WILD -- RW Marian Gaborik (groin), G Manny Fernandez (neck) and C Mikka Koivu (knee). C Randy Robitaille, D Daniel Tjarnqvist and LW Andrei Nazarov were bystanders.
How does a Darryl Sutter team that hasn't played in 16 months come out so flat?
WHAT IT MEANS:
Yet another defeat in a season opener. Starting in 1994-95, the Flames have a horrific 1-7-3 record when starting the campaign, the lone victory coming at home against Edmonton in 2001-02, a 1-0 shutout with now-departed Roman Turek between the pipes.
The Wild recalled G Josh Harding to serve as backup goaltender ... Minnesota players all wore sweaters with No. 1 and Wild Fans on the name bar during the warmup. Those jerseys were presented to fans when they returned to the ice for the puck drop ... Centre Stephane Yelle and defenceman Rhett Warrener sported the alternate captain 'A' on their sweaters ... In the small consolations department, the Flames absolutely owned the faceoff circle, claiming 23 of 39 draws through the first two periods.