Brunette scored goals 3:59 apart in the third period as the Wild
beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Thursday night.
The Wild improved to 5-1-1, their best record after seven games
in the team's three-year history.
Brunette's first goal, a power-play tip-in at 6:08, restored
Minnesota's lead at 2-1 just less than 3 minutes after Chicago tied
it at 1.
His second goal, at 10:07, capitalized on a Chicago turnover and
stood up as the game-winner.
"I was very fortunate, I was the recipient of two great
plays," Brunette said. "Cliff (Ronning) made a great play to me
for the tip-in. Jimmy (Dowd) intercepted a puck and made a nice
"It's real important that we put away a game like this," he
added. "Last year we faltered - up by two goals with 10 minutes
left. We lost a lot of games like that."
"You always need the breaks to be able to win," Minnesota
coach Jacques Lemaire said. "And we got that tonight."
"It's frustrating," Thibault said. "We battled hard, I
battled hard. Tonight we deserved better. They got one more break
than we did."
Chicago's Steve Sullivan had the best chance in the scoreless
first period - a breakaway with 6 minutes left - but his shot hit
Dupuis gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead with 6:21 left in the second
with a goal that withstood a video review.
Ronning's high shot from the point struck Thibault's mask, but
the rebound popped into the slot and deflected in off Dupuis, who
was driving to the net.
Berezin was credited with a 5-on-3 power-play goal that made it
1-1 at 3:26 of the third.
With Roloson down, Berezin's original shot from just outside the
crease was blocked by Minnesota's Wes Walz. Walz, however, kicked
the rebound into the net while trying to control it.
Brunette's power-play goal at 6:08 made it 2-1. Standing at the
edge of the crease, he one-timed Ronning's cross-ice feed.
Brunette made it 3-1 at 10:07 following a turnover by Chicago's
Garry Valk at the Blackhawks blue line. After a quick feed from
Dowd, Brunette broke in alone on Thibault.
Strudwick, playing just his second game with Chicago, cut it to
3-2 with 6:41 left when he drove to the net and knocked in Alex
Chicago D Boris Mironov was a healthy scratch for the first
time since Brian Sutter took over as Blackhawks coach last season.
"Him not playing means he has to take it up a notch, plain and
simple," Sutter said. ... Mironov's spot was taken by Jason
Strudwick. ... After having four days off, the Blackhawks began a
stretch of 11 games in 19 nights. ... Minnesota RW Bill Muckalt,
who leads the Wild with five goals and eight points, will miss
2-to-3 weeks because of a dislocated left shoulder. He was injured
Tuesday against Calgary.