NHL: Vancouver 2, Minnesota 1

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 5  -- Jason Jaffray scored the game's final goal 3:52 into the second period Friday and the Vancouver Canucks made the lead stand up for 2-1 victory over Minnesota.

The Canucks ended a four-game losing streak and jumped past Minnesota into first place in the Northwest Division.

It was the first goal for Jaffray this season and only the third of his NHL career. He was recalled to the Canucks this week from Manitoba of the American Hockey League.

Vancouver owned a 1-0 lead after the first period on Kevin Bieksa's power-play goal, but Mikko Koivu tied it 27 seconds into the second with a wrist shot that got past Cory Schneider.

NHL: Minnesota 4, St. Louis 0

NHL: Minnesota 4, St. Louis 0ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 3  -- Niklas Backstrom bounced back from the worst performance of his career by making 22 saves Wednesday in Minnesota's 4-0 blanking of St. Louis.

The Wild won their fourth straight, getting a goal and an assist from both Eric Belanger and Marek Zidlicky.

On Monday against Colorado, Backstrom gave up a career-high six goals on 26 shots and was removed from the game after the second period. He came back against the Blues to record his 12th career shutout.

Chris Mason allowed three goals on 37 shots for St. Louis, which has dropped three out of four.

Man drives away from jail in cop car

BRAINERD, Minn., Nov. 28  -- A Minnesota man just released from a detox center stole an undercover deputy's car for the trip home, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department alleges.

Christopher Wayne Schwarz, 20, was re-arrested after a chase that lasted less than half an hour, the Brainerd Dispatch reported Thursday. He faces charges of fleeing a peace officer and motor vehicle theft.

"If you want to make a quick trip back to jail, that would be the way to do it," Sheriff Todd Dahl said. "You always read about something like this happening somewhere else, or see it on television, but you'd never think it would happen here."

Minnesota Senate ‘undervotes’ largely from Obama turf

Barack ObamaIn the still-to-be-decided race for a US Senate seat in Minnesota, an Associated Press analysis of votes indicates that most ballots lacking a Senate vote were cast in counties won by Democrat Barack Obama.

The 25,000-vote difference in presidential and Senate race tallies could be due to different reasons - either some of the voters might have intentionally bypassed the Senate race, or others might have mismarked their ballot, or optical scanning machines might have misread them.

As such, a recount of the votes will begin November 19, and will use manual inspection to detect such ballots.

McCain vows "change," chastises own party

John_mccain_returns_to_NHSt Paul, Minnesota - John McCain touted his military service and reform record in seeking to reclaim the mantle of change from his Democratic opponent in a speech accepting the Republican Party's presidential nomination on Thursday.

Governor Palin making entrance with themes of reform, prosperity

Governor Palin making entrance with themes of reform, prosperitySt Paul, Minnesota - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the handpicked running mate of presidential candidate John McCain, will introduce herself to US voters in a primetime address on Wednesday night.

Earlier in the evening, 2,380 national convention delegates will formally nominate Palin and McCain as the centre-right Republican Party's presidential ticket.