ST. PAUL (AP) -- After managing only 34 shots in the last two games, Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire knew his team needed a lift, and Marian Gaborik provided it.
Notching the first three-goal game of his career, Gaborik and the Wild jumped on the Atlanta Thrashers early and held off a late rally to come away with a 4-2 win Tuesday night.
"When he moves the puck and skates like he can, things happen," Lemaire said. "When he gets open and gets the puck back, he's very dangerous."
Gaborik claimed he was fortunate.
"When you shoot a lot, you have a chance to score goals," he said. "I got a little lucky actually."
The Wild outshot Atlanta 39-16. The Thrashers have now lost seven straight games.
Gaborik opened the scoring with 4:21 remaining in the first period, chasing his own rebound and firing the puck past Damian Rhodes.
"We seemed to come out tonight with a little more jump," Gaborik said.
He made it 2-0 at 4:51 of the second when his shot bounced high off Rhodes and landed behind the goalie in the net. The Czech forward added his eighth goal of the season off a shot deflection at 8:44.
It was the second hat trick in the franchise's two-year history. Antti Laaksonen had one last season.
"I seem to be in the right place at the right time," said Gaborik, who leads the club in points this year with eight goals and nine assists.
Atlanta rallied on Dany Heatley's power-play goal at 10:41 of the second, and Ray Ferraro scored on a deflection at 7:30 of the third period.
Heatley's goal was the Thrashers' first goal in 205 minutes, 55 seconds.
Dwayne Roloson made several key saves, and the Wild blocked several shots late in the game to hold off the Thrashers.
Pascal Dupuis added an empty-net goal for Minnesota with three seconds left.
"As the game went on, we got better, but we're still not getting great chances to score," said a frustrated Atlanta coach Curt Fraser, who unleashed a verbal tirade at his players during practice earlier in the day.
Roloson picked up his fifth win of the season, stopping 14 shots. Rhodes dropped to 0-4-1. He made 35 saves.
"Everyone was supporting each other on the ice. We got good chances, and we kept them with very few chances," Lemaire said.
Most of the night's chances went to Gaborik, who kept firing away at Rhodes in the third period as the Wild tried to build a cushion.
"When he's going like that, he's going to get a lot of opportunities to score," said teammate Andrew Brunette, who assisted on Gaborik's third goal of the night.
Notes: The Wild's league-leading power play went 0-for-2. ... Heatley's second-period goal was Atlanta's first power-play goal on the road this season. The Thrashers are 1-for-43 on the road, ranking last in the NHL ... Play was stopped and portions of the crowd began to exit the building at 9:10 p.m. after smoke from a concession stand tripped the building's alarm system and the scoreboard displayed a message asking people to exit through the stairways.
Atlanta 0 1 1 -- 2
Minnesota 1 2 1 -- 4
First Period--1, Minnesota, Gaborik 6 (Mitchell), 15:19. Penalties--Marshall, Min (interference), 6:39; Simon, Atl (interference), 11:01; Hordichuk, Atl, major (fighting), 16:43; Brown, Min, major (fighting), 16:43; Mitchell, Min (holding), 17:36; Donovan, Atl (interference), 19:05.
Second Period--2, Minnesota, Gaborik 7 (Zholtok, Kuba), 4:51. 3, Minnesota, Gaborik 8 (Brunette, Dowd), 8:44. 4, Atlanta, Heatley 5 (Hrkac, Kallio), 10:41 (pp). Penalties--Tamer, Atl, major (fighting), 3:19; Blouin, Min, major (fighting), 3:19; Schultz, Min (hooking), 9:29.
Third Period--5, Atlanta, Ferraro 3 (Tjarnqvisc, Tapper), 7:30. 6, Minnesota, Dupuis 2 (Walz), 19:57 (en). Penalties--None.
Shots on goal--Atlanta 4-6-6--16. Minnesota 16-12-11--39.
Power-play Opportunities--Atlanta 1 of 3; Minnesota 0 of 2.
Goalies--Atlanta, Rhodes 0-4-1 (38 shots-35 saves). Minnesota, Roloson 5-2-2 (16-14).
Referees--Dan Marouelli, Bob Langdon. Linesmen--David Brisebois, Tim Nowak.
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