ST. PAUL, Minn. – Matt Foy scored the first two goals of his career and Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 6-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

Marc Chouinard moved within one goal of Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson for the NHL lead with his fourth and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored on a penalty shot in the third as the Wild (2-1-1) handed the Canucks (2-1-1) their first loss of the season.

It was the rebirth of what had become a bitter rivalry before the NHL shut down for a season in a labor dispute. An intense seven-game playoff series in 2003 and several brawl-filled games during the regular season instantly made the Canucks the Wild’s chief rival.

Even with a year off, the nastiness was still there, and it was no surprise that Vancouver’s Todd Bertuzzi was right in the middle of it. Bertuzzi, who missed 17 months after being suspended for a cheap shot on Colorado’s Steve Moore that left him with a concussion and broken bones in his neck, tussled with Alex Henry in the second period.

Chouinard scored shortly after the fight when he jammed in a rebound off a shot by Brian Rolston for a 2-0 lead with less than 9 minutes to play in the second.

Rivalries are en vogue in the new NHL, which has gone to a new scheduling format that increases the number of games between division foes and includes back-to-back games between rivals. The Canucks and Wild play again Friday night.

The Canucks had difficulty keeping up with the faster Wild skaters for most of the night, and Minnesota used that advantage to put the game away in the third.

Bouchard got behind defenseman Bryan Allen, who had to trip Bouchard to keep him from shooting. Bouchard scored on the ensuing penalty shot, beating Dan Cloutier on the stick side for a 4-0 lead with just under 10 minutes to go.

Foy scored his first career goal in the second, and added another in the third when he backhanded the puck off Cloutier’s skate and into the net. Andrei Zyuzin and Rolston also scored for Minnesota.

Cloutier made several tough saves throughout the game, including two on breakaways by Foy and Pascal Dupuis, but fell apart in the third, allowing three goals on five shots.

Bouchard made him look silly on the penalty shot and he nearly let in a soft goal with under 5 minutes to play, prompting chants of “Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!” from the sellout crowd.

While not tested as often, Roloson came up just as big. Midway through the second period, Roloson slid all the way across the crease to make a nifty save on Markus Naslund, who thought he had a wide-open net.

Notes: Wild forward Marian Gaborik was out again with a sore groin. The team hopes to have him back for Sunday’s game against Anaheim. … Vancouver C Richard Park received a loud ovation from the fans when introduced before the game. Park signed with the Canucks in the offseason after being a fan favorite with the Wild. … Canucks C Brendan Morrison’s streak of 352 consecutive games is the second-longest current run, three behind Colorado’s Karlis Skrastins.

AP-ES-10-12-05 2308EDT


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