Unbeaten Wild keep Lightning winless

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TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- New coach Barry Melrose still is

searching for his first victory behind the Tampa Bay Lightning's

bench.

Antti Miettinen scored the lone goal in the second round of the

shootout as the Minnesota Wild kept the Lightning winless with a

1-0 victory on Saturday.

Miettinen, who had scored five goals through the club's first

three games, beat goaltender Mike Smith with a backhander to

give the Wild the edge. Niklas Backstrom stopped all three

attempts he faced to drop the Lightning to 0-2-3 under Melrose,

who had spent the past 13 seasons working as a hockey analyst

for ESPN.

"Just have to believe that we're going to be rewarded for what

we've done," Melrose said. "The chances we had, the

penalty-killing, the power plays, they've just got to believe

that if we keep doing that, we're going to win a lot of games.

We're just being tested, and we've got to pass the test."

Jussi Jokinen and Vincent Lecavalier had their shots stopped in

the shootout and, after Miettinen put Minnesota in front, top

overall pick Steven Stamkos' backhander was denied, ending the

game.

Backstrom finished with 32 saves, including 13 in the first

period, for his 10th career shutout.

"You feel confident when he's in net," Miettinen said. "I'm

really happy we got the win. It's well-deserved."

Smith stopped 21 shots for Tampa Bay, recording the seventh

blanking of his career.

Despite outshooting the Wild throughout the contest, the

Lightning lost their fifth straight one-goal contest. Tampa Bay

began the day as one of two winless teams in the league, with

the Philadelphia Flyers (0-3-2) being the other.

"We'll take all the positive stuff out of this and keep it

rolling," Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger said. "We played

hard for 60 minutes, and that's something we haven't been doing.

We need to score some goals. We're getting opportunities, we're

going to score."

The last time the Lightning were winless through their first

five games was the 1998-99 campaign, when they began 0-4-1.

"We've played two solid games right now. We've just got to keep

doing it and, eventually, we'll be rewarded," Melrose said. "We

were hitting guys tonight, finishing checks. We were winning

the battles down behind their net and our net. It's contagious.

All of the sudden, everyone's starting to do it. If you were to

tell me we weren't able to score, I would have said you're

nuts."

The win gave Minnesota its fourth straight 4-0-0 start.

"The guys worked hard, I gotta give them that," Wild coach

Jacques Lemaire said. "Not a great win. We'll have to play

better."

The St. Pete Times Forum was far from capacity as most of the

city likely had its attention on Game Six of the American League

Championship Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red

Sox.

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