Fri, May 09, 2003 - Page 24 News List

Minnesota Wild continues to hang on


Andrew Brunette's two goals led another unlikely outburst by the Minnesota Wild, who sidestepped elimination for the fifth time in postseason with a 5-1 victory over Vancouver on Wednesday.

The Western Conference semifinal series is tied at 3-3, with a deciding Game 7 set for Thursday in Vancouver. The winner will face the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the West finals.

Dwayne Roloson made 30 saves for Minnesota, who also got goals from Darby Hendrickson, Antti Laaksonen and seldom-used Lubomir Sekeras. Cliff Ronning had three assists and Marian Gaborik had two as the Wild went 3-for-5 on the power play.

Ed Jovanovski scored his seventh goal of the playoffs for the Canucks, who have not lost three straight all season.

The Wild, who've scored 12 goals the last two games, are an NHL-leading 14-for-55 (25.5 percent) on the man advantage during the postseason.

Minnesota was a surprise qualifier for the playoffs in its third season, but the Wild are a game away from advancing to the conference finals. They became just the fourth team in NHL history to win five elimination games in one postseason. No team has ever overcome two 3-1 series deficits in the same postseason. The Wild trailed Colorado by that number in the first round before winning three straight -- two in Denver.

Kjellberg leaves

Anaheim right wing Patric Kjellberg has left the team for unspecified personal reasons and isn't expected to be available for the Western Conference finals, coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday.

Kjellberg, 33, has been used mostly on penalty killing this season. He played in 76 games and had 19 points. The native of Sweden had appeared in each of the Ducks' 10 playoff games and had no points. Babcock said Kjellberg left for family reasons.

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