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Associated Press, Published January 29 2013

Minnesota clips Columbus

ST. PAUL – Concussions have kept Pierre-Marc Bouchard out of Minnesota’s lineup most of the past three seasons. He’s back now, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Wild.

Bouchard scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period and Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night.

With the Wild seemingly on their heels after giving up a two-goal lead, Bouchard took a pass from Torrey Mitchell near the blue line, zoomed past two Columbus defenders and beat goalie Steve Mason above his right glove.

There appeared to be a little extra emotion as Bouchard pumped his fist and dropped to a knee while celebrating the goal.

“It’s pretty fun. The last few years have been pretty tough,” Bouchard said. “It’s good to be back and play those kinds of games and win some hockey games.”

Mikko Koivu and Tom Gilbert also scored for Minnesota.

Mark Letestu and Jack Johnson had goals for the Blue Jackets.

After Columbus beat Dallas to snap a four-game skid, the Blue Jackets’ flight to the Twin Cities on Monday night was canceled because of fog, forcing the team to leave on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Columbus looked sluggish early and trailed 2-0 after the first period.

“We play our best hockey when we’re playing from behind, but it seems like we’re always playing from behind,” Johnson said. “It would be nice to get a lead for a change.”

Koivu took a rebound, skated to the side of the net and banked the puck off Mason to open the scoring midway through the first.

Gilbert flicked the puck into an open net after corralling a deflection off a Columbus player’s shin pad late in the first to make it

2-0.

Columbus 0 1 1 – 2

Minnesota 2 0 1 – 3

First period: 1, Minnesota, Koivu 2 (Brodin, Suter), 9:23. 2, Minnesota, Gilbert 2 (Koivu, Stoner), 18:21.

Second period: 3, Columbus, Letestu 2 (Boll, Wisniewski), 14:59.

Third period: 4, Columbus, Johnson 1 (Dubinsky), 7:32 (pp). 5, Minnesota, Bouchard 2 (Mitchell, Falk), 14:41.

Missed

Shots on Goal – Columbus 5-3-11 – 19. Minnesota 8-15-3 – 26.

Goalies: Columbus, Mason 0-3-0 (26 shots-23 saves). Minnesota, Backstrom 2-1-1 (19-17).

A – 17,584 (17,954). T – 2:24.