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Fernandez stops 35 shots, Rolston scores twice as Wild defeat Kings 3-1

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Fernandez stops 35 shots, Rolston scores twice as Wild defeat Kings 3-1

The Canadian Press
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Rolston scored his team-high seventh and eighth goals of the season, Todd White had a goal and two assists, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard added three assists for the Wild. Northwest Division-leading Minnesota (8-1-0) moved into a tie with Dallas for the Western Conference's best record. Buffalo (9-0-0) is the only team in the NHL with a better mark.

Brian Willsie scored a third-period goal for the Kings, who are 1-5-2 in their past eight games. Included in that stretch was Minnesota's 2-1 overtime victory at Los Angeles on Oct. 18.

Los Angeles' Dan Cloutier stopped 26 shots and dropped to 7-10-4 in his career against Minnesota.

The Wild continued their dominance at home, improving to 6-0.

Fernandez, who started all nine games for Minnesota this season, entered Wednesday's game with the third-lowest goals-against average in the league at 1.60.

The Wild played their third consecutive game without star right wing Marian Gaborik, sidelined with a groin injury. Minnesota got a big boost from the line of centre Rolston and wingers Bouchard and White - the only line coach Jacques Lemaire has kept intact this season.

Rolston got the Wild on the board at 13:02 of the first period. White fired a slap shot from the left circle and Cloutier made a pad save. Rolston, waiting near the goal, gathered the rebound and backhanded the puck off the post and into the net.

Rolston struck again for Minnesota's second goal, as he sped ahead of the pack, took a long pass from White and knocked in his own rebound from close in 8:34 into the second period.

White gave the Wild a 3-0 lead with 5:02 left in the second. Bouchard collected the puck off the boards and passed it to White in the right circle. White then beat Cloutier top shelf.

Willsie scored his first goal of the season for the Kings at 10:53 in the third, putting in a rebound of Alexander Frolov's shot, but Los Angeles couldn't mount a rally.

The Kings finished 0-for-7 on the power play as the Wild increased their NHL-best penalty-killing percentage to 93.5.

Notes: Wild right wing Mattias Weinhandl played after missing three games because of a concussion. ... Rolston has scored at least one point in his past five games. ... Minnesota has a nine-game home winning streak dating to last season. ... Kings star defenceman Rob Blake, who signed a free-agent deal with Los Angeles this year, has just two assists and is a minus-7 for the season.

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Fernandez stops 35 shots, Rolston scores twice as Wild defeat Kings 3-1