ST. PAUL (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild aren't acting their age.
The Wild looked like anything but an expansion team while defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 and holding star Mario Lemieux scoreless Sunday.
Darby Hendrickson said the Wild, who were coming off a victory Friday at Dallas, weren't even at their best, but coach Jacques Lemaire disagreed.
"I don't think we can play better than this," Lemaire said. "I don't know if I'm going to see a game played better than we did in our own end."
The Wild's patient, defensive style disrupted the Penguins -- who had 24 shots blocked before they reached goalie Jamie McLennan, who blocked 27 more. Lemieux, playing despite back pain, was held without a point for only the second time in 19 games since he ended his 3 1/2-year retirement Dec. 27.
"It's no fun playing that way, but it's the way they play," the Penguins' Kevin Stevens said. "They won, so they've got to be happy."
Lemaire said this is the only way the Wild could compete with Penguins such as Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Alexei Kovalev.
"You can't try to create as much as they do, or you'll pay a price for it," Lemaire said. "If you play smart, the opportunities are there."
The Wild's Curtis Leschyshyn scored a goal just 8 seconds after leaving the penalty box, 9:34 into the third period, for a 3-1 lead.
"You always think about those situations when you're in the box" Leschyshyn said. "You're always hoping when you get out for an opportunity for a breakaway."
The Penguins cut the Wild's lead to 3-2 on Robert Lang's second goal, with 4:16 remaining. They pulled goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin in the final minute and had another man advantage when the Wild's Brad Bombardir was penalized for holding.
The threat ended when Hendrickson stole a pass, and Wes Walz flipped the puck for an open-net goal with 32 seconds left.
The Wild's Stacy Roest broke a 1-1 tie 12:58 into the second period, about two minutes after the first goal by Lang. The Wild's Jim Dowd scored the game's first goal, 3:21 into the second period.
Lemieux, who had back problems from 1990-97, was limited to three shots in 26 minutes.
"I felt OK out there, but obviously I'm not able to do some of the things I normally do," Lemieux said. "I have to work with what I have."
Notes: The Penguins lost their first meeting with an expansion team for only the second time since the NHL expanded in 1970. ... Hall of Fame baseball player Kirby Puckett made the ceremonial puck drop. ... The Wild played their first home game since Jan. 21. ... The Wild and Penguins meet again Wednesday at Pittsburgh. ... The Wild, who led 2-1 after the second period, improved to 18-1-3-1 when they are leading after two periods. ... Wild defenseman Sean O'Donnell missed his first game because of the flu.
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