Wild 5, Thrashers 1

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and two assists, Mark Parrish scored twice and the Minnesota Wild extended their dominance at home with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.

Brian Rolston also scored for Minnesota, which tied a season high with its eighth straight home win. It was just the second time in that stretch the Wild won by more than one goal.

Minnesota, which entered the night tied with Calgary atop the Northwest Division, is an NHL-best 17-3-1 at home and hasn’t lost at the Xcel Energy Center since Dec. 1.

Jon Sim scored with 22.3 seconds left for Atlanta, which looked sluggish in the final game of a four-game road trip. The Thrashers, who won 3-2 in overtime at Ottawa on Monday, finished with just 15 shots on goal, their lowest total since getting 11 on opening night.

Rolston beat Kari Lehtonen with a slap shot on the power play 2:54 into the game. Rolston, named the team captain for January, has four goals and three assists in his last three games.

Parrish scored his seventh goal in six home games late in the first for a 2-0 lead.

Five seconds after a penalty expired, a partially fanned shot by Bouchard was deflected by Atlanta’s Marian Hossa to Parrish all alone in front. He easily beat Lehtonen, who went down on Bouchard’s shot.

If not for Lehtonen, the margin could have been even worse. He stopped 30 shots in the loss, including several point-blank attempts as the Thrashers’ defense struggled to keep the Wild out of prime scoring range.

Parrish added his second early in the third period, finishing a 2-on-1 with Pavol Demitra. Bouchard scored midway through the period, also 5 seconds after a power play expired.

Lehtonen slammed his stick in disgust after Bouchard added his second goal with 3:11 to play.

Kurtis Foster had his sixth assist in three games for Minnesota, which improved to 5-0-1 all-time against Atlanta. This was the first game between the teams since Oct. 30, 2003.

Notes: Minnesota, which won its final three home games last season, also won its first eight home games this season. … Atlanta D Steve McCarthy did not return after leaving the game with an upper body injury in the second period. He tripped Stephane Veilleux and slid into the end boards. … RW Joel Ward was reassigned to Houston of the AHL. In six games with Minnesota, Ward averaged 7:57 of ice time and had one assist. … Atlanta reassigned RW Darren Haydar to Chicago of the AHL. Haydar, who was recalled Monday but did not play, leads the AHL with 53 assists and 75 points.

AP-ES-01-02-07 2256EST

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