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Power-play goals lift Wild to win

SHARE Power-play goals lift Wild to win

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Andrew Brunette and Lubomir Sekeras scored power-play goals during a five-minute span in the first period to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday night.

Manny Fernandez made 19 saves for Minnesota, which entered the game 0-for-30 on the power play against Nashville.

Greg Johnson scored for Nashville, which fell to 5-12-2-0 on the road.

Brunette, Minnesota's leading scorer, took his own rebound and shot from behind the goal line. With Predators goaltender Mike Dunham scrambling to recover from the initial shot, Brunette banked a low shot off Dunham's blocker hand and in to make it 1-0 at 8:53.

Sekeras' shot from the top of the right circle found its way through a crowd and past Dunham to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead at 13:19.

The Predators held the Wild to three shots on goal in the second period, and cut the deficit on Johnson's goal. Johnson finished off a 2-on-1 break with his ninth goal of the season to make it 2-1 with three seconds left in the period.

Minnesota took just eight shots in the final two periods, but played enough defense to hang on for the victory.

BLACKHAWKS 2, LIGHTNING 0: At Chicago, Jocelyn Thibault stopped 17 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Chicago beat Tampa Bay for its fifth straight victory.

Mike Peluso and Tony Amonte scored for the Blackhawks, whose winning streak is their longest since they won six straight to close the 1998-99 season.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 27 saves for the Lightning, who lost their fifth consecutive game and were shut out for the second straight contest. Tampa Bay, the NHL's second-lowest scoring team, has gone 127 minutes, 34 seconds without a goal.

PANTHERS 2, MIGHTY DUCKS 1: At Anaheim, Calif., rookie Kristian Huselius scored the go-ahead goal with 10:49 remaining, and Pavel Bure had a goal and an assist as the Florida Panthers beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 2-1 on Friday night.

Olli Jokinen had two assists, and Roberto Luongo made 26 saves for the Panthers, who are 7-6-1 since Mike Keenan replaced Duane Sutter as coach on Dec. 3. They already have one more victory under Keenan than they did in 26 games this season under Sutter.

A couple of hours after hearing about the resignation of team chairman Tony Tavares, who had been with the organization since it entered the NHL nine seasons ago, the Ducks lost their fourth straight following a season-high four-game unbeaten streak. Jeff Friesen scored Anaheim's goal.

The Ducks, returning from their second six-game road trip of the season, are 2-8-2 in their last 12 home games. The Panthers have beaten them in five of their last six meetings, including a 6-0 romp on Nov. 21 in Florida.

SHARKS 5, COYOTES 3: At San Jose, Scott Thornton and Stephane Matteau scored two goals apiece as the San Jose Sharks beat Phoenix 5-3 on Friday night, ending the Coyotes' five-game unbeaten streak.

Miikka Kiprusoff relieved Evgeni Nabokov with 38 minutes of shutout goaltending as the Sharks increased their Pacific Division lead and avenged a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes at the Shark Tank five days earlier.