- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 11, 2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez decided to make his comeback with an open mind.
Fernandez, making his first start since missing 13 games with an injured right knee, got his seventh career shutout as the Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 last night.
"I came in thinking it's been a long time and no one is expecting me to play good," Fernandez said. "So I just went in there with a fresh mind and did the best I could."
Fernandez, hurt against Los Angeles on Jan. 6, turned away 30 shots. The Wild tied a franchise-record with their 12th road victory in their 27th game away from home.
Minnesota didn't win its 12th road game last season until its 68th game and 36th away from home.
In his first shutout of the season, Fernandez was rarely tested. A tenacious Minnesota defense helped send the Flyers to their eighth shutout loss of the season, the most since they were blanked eight times in 1969-70.
"I think we played amazing defensively," Fernandez said. "I think the team has really changed since the time I was here. We didn't make the same mistakes that used to hurt us before."
Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire agreed with that assessment. "I think the defensemen had a huge effort tonight," Lemaire said. "You know, good play one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three. In the corners, they were really good."
Philadelphia's Keith Primeau agreed that the Wild's defense was a problem for the Flyers.
"We knew that they play an extremely frustrating game defensively," Primeau said. "We spent a lot of time in their zone, but a lot of time on the perimeter as well. The chances we did get we didn't finish."
Pascal Dupuis scored the only goal at 14:11 of the first period, converting a one-timer from the slot on a give-and-go with Jim Dowd. It was his 14th goal of the season.
Philadelphia, which came in with a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1), has scored two goals or less in seven straight games.
"You're going to have games like this, no question," Philadelphia's Jeremy Roenick said. "The hard part is working to get out of it and breaking through. It's frustrating, but we have to be persistent."
Flyers goaltender Roman Cechmanek faced only 19 shots.
Fernandez made his best saves against Todd Warriner, stopping close shots by the Philadelphia forward late in the second period and again with two minutes left in the game.

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