Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 4)

St. Louis leads 2-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 12th
Game 2: Sunday, February 23rd
Game 3: Saturday, March 1st
Game 4: Wednesday, March 26th

Wild 2

(1-0-0, 3 pts)

Blues 2

(0-1-0, 1 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 12, 2002

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 OT T
MIN 0 1 1 02
STL 0 1 1 02

A. Brunette (Wild - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Drake (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

S. Mellanby (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Brunette's late goal brings Wild even with Blues

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Andrew Brunette saw a terrific pass coming, and made the most of it.


Stationed in front of the net, he scored with 15.4 seconds left in the third period to help the Minnesota Wild to a 2-2 overtime tie with the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Brunette converted on a pass from Marian Gaborik with Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson on the bench for a sixth attacker. The Blues had been penalized for having too many men on the ice with 1:25 left in the period. The Wild pulled Roloson with 36 seconds left giving them a two-man advantage.

"Marian made a fantastic pass and fooled everybody,'' Brunette said. "It was a great pass. He made the play.''

Brunette's goal was his second of the season. He also added an assist, his second of the year.

"We were in control there in the third period,'' said St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville, whose team dropped its opener to Anaheim 4-3 on Thursday. "We let it get away.''

St. Louis outshot Minnesota 27-22. Roloson made 25 saves. St. Louis goalie Fred Brathwaite had 20 saves, including two stops in the final minute of overtime.

St. Louis wing Dallas Drake scored off his own rebound at 9:32 of the third period to give the Blues a 2-1 lead. Jamal Mayers began the play by stealing the puck from Sergei Zholtok in the Minnesota zone. Two defenders converged on Mayers, who slid the puck over to Drake. Roloson made an initial pad save on Drake's first shot. But Drake, who scored 11 goals last season, pounced on the rebound and lifted the puck past Roloson for his first goal of the season.

"We hustled and we made things happen,'' Drake said. "But we still didn't get the win.''

St. Louis capitalized on a defensive miscue to lead 1-0 in the second period. Blues wing Scott Mellanby intercepted a pass by Lubomir Sekeras and sent a wrist shot past Roloson at 6:19. It was the first goal of the season for Mellanby, who scored 15 last year.

Minnesota bounced back 57 seconds later to tie the game on a power-play goal by Cliff Ronning. Brunette set up Ronning with a perfect pass from behind the net. The goal came 33 seconds after St. Louis center Eric Boguniecki was penalized for boarding. "This was a big point for us, a big point,'' Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "If we didn't play good positional hockey, we'd have had no chance to be anywhere close.''

Quenneville felt the outcome was influenced by the late call against his team for too many men on the ice.

"I take responsibility,'' Quenneville said. "We had six guys on the ice. We should take responsibility for not winning.''

Game notes

St. Louis goalie Brent Johnson, who led the team with 58 starts last year, remains sidelined with a high ankle sprain. He is expected to miss at least two more weeks. Reinhard Divis has served as the backup in both games this season. ... Minnesota is unbeaten in its last three trips to Savvis Center. The Wild won both games in St. Louis last season. ... Minnesota was coming off its first opening-night win in the its three-year history. ...The Wild beat Boston 5-1 on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center. ...The Minnesota roster contains players from six countries, including 15 from Canada and one from the United States.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press