Wild win in Calgary, move into sixth in West
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jason Pominville scored twice to help the Minnesota Wild beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 Monday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Pominville has four goals in six games since being acquired from 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, which began a three-game road trip that continues Tuesday night in Edmonton. The Wild moved past St. Louis into sixth place in the Western Conference and three points behind Northwest Division-leading Vancouver.
Nicklas Backstrom had 20 stops to improve to 21-12-3.
Jiri Hudler, Sven Baertschi and Ben Hanowski — making his NHL debut — scored for Calgary.
With veterans Alex Tanguay, Matt Stajan and Brain McGrattan all injured, the Flames continue to use young players 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 Pittsburgh.
Koivu got the Wild on the scoreboard first, just 2:17 into the first period. Pominville doubled the lead at 11:13 of the second period, knocking in a rebound of Ryan Suter’s slap shot that was deflected wide off the end boards.
Hudler scored at 3:42 of the third to pull the Flames within one. It was Calgary’s first shot in more than 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 McDonald’s pads.
Pominville then added his second goal — 14th of the season — with a wicked one-timer from the slot at 5:06 to make it 4-1.
Hanowski, signed by the Flames on Friday after St. Cloud State got knocked out of the NCAA Frozen Four semifinal the previous night, scored from the top of the crease with 8:41 left.
Hanowski arrived in Calgary on Sunday, practiced 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.
Baertschi closed the scoring in the final minute with the goalie pulled.
Joey MacDonald made his third start in a row with Miikka Kiprusoff still nursing a minor injury sustained in his last start, and finished with 23 saves.
Notes: Glencross returned to the lineup after missing one game with the flu. . . . Calgary drops to 1-14-0 when trailing after one period. . . . Pominville got 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.