ST. PAUL, Minn. – Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored twice in the final five minutes to spoil Keith Tkachuk’s return to the St. Louis Blues, leading the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 victory.

Bouchard scored even strength and power-play goals late as the Wild rallied from a 3-2 deficit.

Dean McAmmond scored his team-leading eighth and ninth goals of the season for the Blues.

Tkachuk, who missed 15 games with a rib injury, scored a second-period power-play goal for St. Louis, which has a league-worst four wins.

After an uneventful first period, the offenses broke free in the second. Minnesota opened the scoring in the first minute of the period when Wes Walz knocked in his own rebound after a center ice turnover by Blues defenseman Bryce Salvador.

The teams traded momentum quickly in a 58-second stretch later in the period that featured two Blues goals sandwiched around one by the Wild.

Tkachuk finally got his first goal of the season after taking a pass from Mike Sillinger in front of the Minnesota net.

Minnesota answered quickly when Marian Gaborik beat goaltender Curtis Sanford low on the stick side. It was Gaborik’s 200th career goal.

The Wild’s celebration was short-lived as St. Louis again tied the game, this time when McAmmond scored on his own rebound after Brian Rolston’s turnover at the blue line.

St. Louis led 3-2 after McAmmond took advantage of miscommunication in front of the Wild net, poking the puck past goalie Manny Fernandez. The goaltender looked prepared to cover the puck, then left it uncovered for a teammate, allowing Jamal Mayers to feed McAmmond for an easy goal.

Minnesota’s Kurtis Foster tied the game early in the third period when his shot through a crowd eluded Sanford’s attempt at a glove save. Bouchard gave Minnesota a 4-3 lead with 4:29 to play, converting after a long lead pass from Mikko Koivu. His power-play goal with 2:25 to play sealed the win.

Sanford finished with 24 saves and Fernandez improved to 7-3-1 with 29 saves.

Notes: Minnesota assigned right wing Matt Foy to Houston of the AHL on Friday. Foy had five points and 16 penalty minutes in 19 games with the Wild this season after being recalled by the team on Oct. 1. … McAmmond’s multi-goal game was the 13th of his career and his second of the week. He also scored twice in the Blues’ 6-3 home loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday. … Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell was penalized in the second period for playing with an illegal stick. It was the first such penalty assessed on the Wild this season.

AP-ES-11-25-05 1641EST


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