Series (Game 2 of 2)

Minnesota leads 2-0

Game 1: Wednesday, November 19th
Game 2: Friday, January 16th

Penguins 2

(11-27-3, 30 pts)

Wild 4

(16-17-0, 45 pts)

8:00 PM ET, January 16, 2004

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
PIT 1 1 02
MIN 0 0 44

Top Skaters

Pittsburgh: D. Tarnstrom - 2 A, 3 SOG,

Minnesota: F. Kuba - 1 G, 1 SOG, +1

Pittsburgh (11-26-5-3) at Minnesota (15-17-13-0) 8:00 pm EST

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Minnesota Wild, who are not playing as well in January as they were in December, host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

The Wild are 1-2-3 in their last seven games since ending December with a nine-game (4-0-5) unbeaten streak.

Minnesota battled to a 2-2 tie with the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Andrew Brunette scored a power-play goal in the first period before Dwayne Roloson gave up two tallies in the second. But Defenseman Nick Schultz scored the tying goal.

Roloson made 35 of his 44 saves in the opening 40 minutes and has allowed two goals or fewer in his last 13 games.

Pittsburgh has the fewest points in the NHL and has been outscored, 26-3, in a five-game home losing streak. However, the Penguins have won two of their last three road games, posting wins at New Jersey and Philadelphia.

On Tuesday, the Penguins gave up two first-period goals in a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay and managed just 13 shots. They have faced a deficit in the first intermission in 28 games this season.

Coach Eddie Olczyk announced rookie Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal on Friday.

Fluery hasn't played since a loss at Vancouver on December 9. He spent most of the last month with the Canadian Junior National team, preparing and playing in the 2004 World Junior Hockey Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Fluery is 4-10-2 this season and is 1-8-0 in his last nine decisions. He faced the Wild on November 19 and gave three goals on nine shots in a 6-2 loss before getting pulled.

Antti Laaksonen scored twice and Marian Gaborik converted a penalty shot for Minnesota in the November meeting.