Wild extend Blues' slide

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- All-Star goalie Dwayne Roloson made 24 saves for the Minnesota Wild, earning his third shutout of the season in a feisty 4-0 victory over St. Louis on Monday night.

Wes Walz scored twice, once on a penalty shot, and Sergei Zholtok and Pascal Dupuis also had goals in a rare offensive outburst for the Wild.

Blues goalie Chris Osgood, who has one win in his last 16 starts, was replaced by Reinhard Divis midway through the second period after a rocket slap shot by Dupuis made it 3-0.

Osgood stopped five of eight shots for St. Louis, 0-6-1 in its last seven games. The Blues, ninth in the Western Conference, have 11 goals in their last nine games and have won only five of their last 23.

Roloson, who will represent the Wild with defenseman Filip Kuba in the All-Star game Sunday in St. Paul, entered the game fifth in the NHL in save percentage -- but winless in his last four starts.

He coasted to a victory, making a handful of impressive glove saves and watching his team score more than three goals for just the 10th time in 55 games this season.

It was a much-needed win for Minnesota, too, after winning three of its last 20 games and going 3-6-5-2 in January. After that improbable run to the Western Conference finals last season, the Wild entered the game in 11th place.

This was a fight-filled match, with several skirmishes breaking out in the final period. Mike Danton (St. Louis) and Alex Henry (Minnesota) were active participants.

A bad night for the Blues turned worse early in the third period when Chris Pronger was whistled for tripping Walz from behind, giving the Wild the rare penalty shot.

Walz deked Divis twice before poking the puck between the pipe and the glove with a backhander.

It was Pronger who lost the puck in the first period to Walz, allowing Minnesota's best skater to weave his way through the St. Louis zone and send a short wrist shot past Osgood.

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