Wild End 3-Game Winless Streak
Created: 01/29/2013 9:55 PM KSTP.com
Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period and the Minnesota Wild snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night.
With the Wild seemingly on their heels after giving up a two-goal lead, Bouchard took a pass from Torrey Mitchell near the blue line, zoomed past two Columbus defenders and beat goalie Steve Mason above his right glove.
Mikko Koivu and Tom Gilbert also scored for Minnesota.
Mark Letestu and Jack Johnson had goals for the Blue Jackets.
After Columbus beat Dallas to snap a four-game skid, the Blue Jackets' flight to the Twin Cities on Monday night was canceled because of fog, forcing the team to leave on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Columbus looked sluggish early and trailed 2-0 after the first period.
Koivu took a rebound, skated to the side of the net and banked the puck off Mason to open the scoring midway through the first.
Gilbert flicked the puck into an open net after corralling a deflection off a Columbus player's shin pad late in the first to make it 2-0.
Zach Parise appeared to make it 3-1 late in the second, but the goal was disallowed after replays showed the puck going in off Parise's extended forearm.
The Blue Jackets have struggled to score after trading Rick Nash to the New York Rangers in the offseason. Columbus has allowed the first goal in five of its first seven games and has just 13 goals on the season.
The Blue Jackets managed only five shots through the game's first 31 minutes, and didn't register a second-period shot until 11 minutes had elapsed.
But just as it did Monday night after falling behind early against Dallas, Columbus came back.
Letestu made it 2-1 late in the second after a long sequence in the Wild end without a whistle.
Johnson's shot from the point on a power play tied it 7:32 into the third. It was Columbus' first goal in its last 23 power-play opportunities.
Mason robbed Matt Cullen of a goal early in the second, then did the same to Parise on a wraparound attempt late in the second to keep it close heading into the final period.
Bouchard's go-ahead tally was a big boost for the Wild's confidence beyond their first line.
Minnesota's top line, led by Parise and Koivu, has done most of the scoring for the Wild this season.
NOTES: The game was stopped briefly midway through the second after linesman Thor Nelson was hit in the side of the face with the puck on a clearing attempt. Nelson completed the second period, but didn't come out for the third. The third period was played with just one linesman. ... Koivu has 24 points in 24 career games against Columbus. ... Jared Boll fought Clayton Stoner in the second. Boll entered the game leading the NHL in fighting majors. ... It was the Wild's 500th game at the Xcel Energy Center.
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