SUN Hockey Pool

Trap happy Wild go goal happy

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:25 PM ET

What's harder to believe? That the trap-happy Minnesota Wild, who can slam the door as well as anyone in the league, built a 3-0 first period lead and almost let the game slip away?

Or that the Minnesota Wild actually scored three goals in a period?

In a strange but true 6-3 win last night, the visitors did both, staking, blowing and then restoring three-goal cushions at a stunned Rexall Place.

"When we get up three goals we have a tendency of letting a team back in the game,'' said Wild captain Brian Rolston, who watched Edmonton climb back into a 3-0 blowout with two goals in the first seven minutes of the second period. "That's something we have to get away from. Tonight they came back with two gritty goals, but we showed a lot of heart to get that fourth goal, and the fifth goal for that matter.''

The sixth went into an empty net, marking the third time in four games that Minnesota scored five or more.

"The biggest thing is everyone's contributing. We're getting guys we don't normally get goals from on a consistent basis,'' said Rolston. "That's good for us, that's huge. If we can get some balanced scoring we're going to be dangerous.''

Pierre-Marc Bouchard was the biggest threat last night, laying the foundation for Minnesota's win with two goals 16 seconds apart (a new franchise record) late in the first period. He also chipped in two assists.

"It was a great game, everything was going my way,'' said the 21-year-old, who went eighth overall in 2002. "I had a meeting with Jacques a couple of days ago; he wants me to go to the net a little more and get more shots and that's what I did.''

The win closed the gap between Minnesota and eighth place Los Angeles to just three points. They're just five back of the Oil.

"It was huge to come in here and get these two points,'' said Bouchard. "Our team has some speed and some skilled players and we're confident lately and when you have confidence anything can happen.

"Every night is huge for us. It's going to be a big stretch for us, the standings are really, really close.''

Dwayne Roloson got the win for Minnesota, his first since Jan. 3, stopping 26 Edmonton shots.

He looks expendable given his recent numbers and the fact Manny Fernandez is so hot, but head coach Jacques Lemaire isn't giving up on him.

"I was really happy for him,'' said the coach. "We have to get this guy back on track. He was solid. Maybe we'll keep him in against Vancouver. We want him back where he was.''

Asked if the Wild might be showcasing him for the Oilers, Roloson said it doesn't matter.

"We've talked about this all year,'' he said. "If a team is going to trade you they're going to trade you. It's out of your control. All I can think about is giving our team a chance to win.''


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