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Despite a struggling offense, Bruins steal point away from Wild

Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck, center, tips the puck over Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, left, as Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman, right, defends during the second period Wednesday in St. Paul. AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid

ST. PAUL (AP) -- David Krejci scored the shootout winner and rookie goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots to help the Boston Bruins win their fourth straight game, 2-1 over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

The Bruins closed out a perfect four-game trip by beating the Wild for just the second time in team history despite managing a season-low 16 shots.

The main reason was Rask.

The rookie made his fifth straight start for Boston as regular goalie Tim Thomas remains out with an undisclosed injury. Rask also stopped five shots in overtime, including a point-blank chance from Mikko Koivu, and three of four shootout chances to improve to 7-2-1 this season.

The Wild, playing without five key players due to injuries and illness, still managed to outshoot the Bruins 18-7 through two periods. Brent Burns, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Petr Sykora are all out with concussions, Martin Havlat remains out with a hamstring injury and Antti Miettinen was a late scratch because of an illness.

Boston didn't register its first shot until 6:30 of the first period, but winger Byron Bitz made it count.

Bitz tipped a Derek Morris slap shot past goalie Niklas Backstrom to give the Bruins an early lead.

Newcomer Andrew Ebbett tied it midway through the second by tipping an Owen Nolan shot past Rask. Ebbett was picked up off of waivers from Chicago on Saturday.

Minnesota failed to capitalize on momentum built from a late-game win over the New York Islanders in their last game.

Boston improved to 12-8-4 overall and 4-3 in shootouts, while the Wild dropped to 8-13-2 and 1-3.

E Twins catcher and AL MVP Joe Mauer became the sixth person in Wild history to perform a ceremonial puck drop before the game. Mauer's teammate, 2006 MVP Justin Morneau, led the crowd in the traditional "Let's play hockey."

- New Wild winger Guillaume Latendresse, acquired from the Canadiens for Benoit Pouliot on Monday, is still in Canada waiting for work visa issues to clear before joining the team. The Wild hopes to have him for Friday and Saturday's back-to-back games against Colorado.

- Wild winger Chuck Kobasew returned to face his former team after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

- Bruins winger Milan Lucic limped off the ice and back to the locker room with an apparent leg injury late in the third.

- Rask was whistled for a hooking penalty late in the first period.