Recently acquired Jason Pominville scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season Monday as the Minnesota Wild snapped a three-game winless skid with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Pominville has four goals in six games since being acquired from the Buffalo at the NHL trade deadline in a deal that sent two prospects and two draft picks to the Sabres,
Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored for Minnesota (23-16-3), which wins for the first time in four games. The Wild kicked off a three-game road trip that continues Tuesday night in Edmonton.
The victory vaults Minnesota past St. Louis into sixth place in the Western Conference. They could move into fifth place if the San Jose Sharks lose in regulation to Phoenix on Monday.
The Wild also move to within three points of the Northwest Division-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Jiri Hudler, Sven Baertschi and Ben Hanowski playing in his first NHL game scored for Calgary (16-22-4). The Flames remain in 28th place overall. They began the night two points up on Colorado and four points ahead of Florida.
With veterans Alex Tanguay, Matt Stajan and Brain McGrattan all injured, the Flames continue to insert young players into their lineup to give them NHL experience. The latest was Hanowski, who is one of the two U.S. college players the Flames acquired in the March 27 trade that sent Jarome Iginla to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Calgary also received a 2013 first round draft pick.
Pominville put the Wild ahead 2-0 at 11:13 of the second period. Ryan Suter’s slap shot was deflected wide but it took a lively bounce off the end boards and Pominville was perfectly positioned to corral the loose puck and tuck it inside the post.
Hanowski was signed by the Flames on Friday after St. Cloud State got knocked out of the NCAA Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday. He arrived in Calgary on Sunday, practised with the team for the first time Monday morning wearing jersey No. 58, the winger was in the starting lineup on a line with Roman Horak and Mike Cammalleri.
His goal came at 11:19 of the third period, banging in a puck from the top of the crease after it was centered by Mikael Backlund.
The goal made it 4-2 and was followed by Baertschi in the final minute with the goalie pulled as Calgary got close at the end.
Joey MacDonald made his third start in a row with Miikka Kiprusoff still nursing a minor injury sustained in his last start. He had 23 saves to fall to 7-7-1.
Nicklas Backstrom had 20 stops to improve to 21-12-3.
Trailing 2-0 entering the third, Hudler scored at 3:42 to get the Flames on the scoreboard. It was Calgary’s first shot in over 15 minutes.
However, the Wild restored their two-goal cushion just 11 seconds later. Skating down the wing, Bouchard fired a shot that trickled through the pads of MacDonald.
Pominville then added his second with a wicked one-timer from the slot at 5:06.
Notes: Glencross returned to the lineup after missing one game with the flua Calgary drops to 1-14-0 when trailing after one perioda It was Pominville’s first goals against the Flames in seven career games. Calgary had been the only NHL team he hadn’t scored against.. Calgary has two more games left on a three-game homestand before hitting the road where they’ll play their final four games.
Follow us on Twitter: