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Minnesota rallies in third period and OT to beat Chicago

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild played the third
period with a sense of urgency.

Minnesota, suffering from a letdown after clinching its first
playoff berth, rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits in the
third period, then beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Richard
Park's goal 1:14 into overtime Friday night.

''We worked harder in the third period,'' said Wild coach
Jacques Lemaire, who was growing impatient with his team's
lackluster play. ''We've got to get our game back or it's going to
be really tough (in the playoffs).''

Cliff Ronning sent the game into overtime with a goal in the
final minute of regulation for the Wild, which had not scored a
goal in two games since securing a playoff spot.

Park, streaking through the left circle, one-timed a pass from
Marian Gaborik past Chicago's Steve Passmore for the victory,
Minnesota's eighth in overtime this season, tops in the NHL.

''Park didn't waste any time and he wasn't putting it on the
ice,'' Passmore said. ''I had half a chance if he put it on the
ice.''

Said Park: ''He's a very acrobatic goalie. Any time you give a
guy like that time to react, they are going to win.''

Ronning's goal came with 36.9 seconds left in regulation after
the Wild had pulled the goalie for an extra skater. It also gave
Ronning a little bit of redemption for an earlier mistake. Ronning
had taken a chance going for the puck and been beaten, helping to
set up Igor Radulov's goal that gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead at
10:34 of the third.

''I got caught doing something I haven't done,'' Ronning said.
''I feel fortunate I still had a chance to go out and redeem
myself.''

The goal completed a furious third period in which the teams
traded four goals during the final 10 minutes.

''We shouldn't have been in overtime,'' Chicago coach Brian
Sutter said. ''We got a little out of position in front, but we're
playing some young guys and that's why you play them.''

Sergei Zholtok and Jason Marshall also scored for the Wild, who
lost back-to-back shutouts heading into Friday night. Zholtok
snapped Minnesota's scoreless streak at 124 minutes, 13 seconds
just 3:54 into the game.

Mike Eastwood and Alexander Karpovtsev also scored for Chicago.

With Minnesota leading 1-0, Eastwood tied it at 11:59 of the
first.

The Wild answered Radulov's goal at 15:17, when Marshall scored
his first goal in nearly a year. Marshall's wrist shot from the
right circle was his first goal since March 31, 2002.

Karpovtsev put the Blackhawks back in front 3-2 with a wrist
shot through traffic with 3:26 to play.

Zholtok gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead when he gathered in a loose
puck at the left point and skated slowly between the circles,
fighting off the stick check of Andrei Nikolishin. No Chicago
defenseman stepped in the path of Zholtok, who fired a wrist shot
into the right side of the net for his 16th goal of the season.

Roloson made 22 saves, while Passmore stopped 29 shots.

Game notes
The victory was the Wild's 40th of the season, matching the
most ever by their predecessor, the Minnesota North Stars. ...
Gaborik, who scored 19 goals in the Wild's first 29 games and
earned the team's first All-Star berth, has scored just three times
in his last 28 games. ... Passmore, who started just eight games
this season before Thursday night, started for the second consecutive night.