ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Wes Walz scored a controversial goal 1:29 into overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Martin Skoula’s centering attempt deflected off Walz, who was being checked into the net by Jason Chimera. It took about 5 minutes for the review that confirmed the goal.

Brian Rolston had two power-play goals, and Pavol Demitra also scored in Minnesota’s sixth straight home victory.

Chimera, Joakim Lindstrom and Alexander Svitov scored for Columbus.

Rolston tied it at 3 at 7:25 of the third period, one-timing a pass from Kurtis Foster past Ty Conklin from above the right circle.

Then the goalies took over, with their best saves coming just seconds apart.

Minnesota’s Manny Fernandez, who finished with 26 saves, stopped Rick Nash on a short-handed breakaway, and a shot by Rolston was deflected by Conklin.

Chimera gave Columbus the lead with the lone goal of the first period.

Nikolai Zherdev chased the puck down just below the right circle and centered it to Chimera, charging down the slot, for a tip past Fernandez.

In his sixth NHL game, Lindstrom put the Blue Jackets up 2-0 early in the second period, converting a pass from Rick Nash, the recipient of a turnover by Brent Burns below the end line. It was Lindstrom’s first career goal.

Rolston answered for Minnesota 2 minutes later, beating Conklin with a slap shot.

Conklin, recalled from Syracuse of the AHL on Thursday to replace the injured Pascal Leclaire, finished with 20 saves. It was his first Columbus start after signing with the Blue Jackets as a free agent on July 6. He appeared in two games in relief earlier this month.

Demitra scored at 8:01 of the second period when he tipped a shot from Todd White past Conklin to tie the game, but Svitov tipped a shot from David Vyborny past Fernandez with 52 seconds left in the second period for a 3-2 Columbus lead. Vyborney has six points in his last three games.

Notes: Conklin was 2-10-1 in Syracuse, but had a .905 save percentage. … Minnesota LW Stephane Veilleux returned after missing three games with a broken nose. … Wild D Petteri Nummelin, who skated before the team’s morning skate, missed his fifth straight game with an upper body injury. … Columbus has scored at least three goals in 13 of 18 games since Ken Hitchcock became coach Nov. 22.

AP-ES-12-29-06 2252EST


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