Wild's win has Quenneville sizing up 10 'playoff games'

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- The Minnesota Wild played a near-flawless game at the wrong time for the St. Louis Blues.

Antti Laaksonen scored on a penalty shot, and Manny Fernandez made 26 saves to lead the Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Blues.

"That's about the best we can play," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We're playing better and better and it's very satisfying."

The Blues, fighting with Edmonton, Dallas and Vancouver for the final Western Conference playoff position, came out listless.

Minnesota took advantage.

"Every game right now is a playoff game, and we left two (points) on the table tonight," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "I don't think we gave them away. There's 10 games left and they're all playoff games as far as we're concerned."

Laaksonen was awarded the penalty shot after he was pulled down by St. Louis defenseman Bryce Salvador at 2:33 of the third period. On the penalty shot, Laaksonen put a back-handed shot past goalie Brent Johnson for his 12th goal.

"You want to make the goalie move before you do and it worked out real well today," Laaksonen said. "You have to think about what you're going to do before you move in, and I did that and scored."

Quenneville agreed with the call by referee Shane Heyer.

"If you put yourself in that spot, they're going to call them a lot more than they should," Quenneville said.

The penalty-shot goal is the second this season for the Wild. Minnesota forward Stacy Roest converted March 2 against Vancouver.

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