Wild hand Flames 3rd straight defeat on strength of special teams

Jason Pominville snapped out of a slump with a goal and an assist Wednesday night to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames, who have lost three straight and starting goalie Karri Ramo for the season.

Disappointing start follows tough news on Wideman, Ramo

Five players score in Minnesota's 5-3 victory. 0:28

Minnesota interim coach John Torchetti will take the two points any way he can as the Wild try and push for a playoff spot.

Jason Pominville and Erik Haula contributed a goal and an assist each Wednesday night as the Wild won for the second time in a row since the firing of Mike Yeo with a 5-3 victory over the hometown Calgary Flames.

After a 1-11-2 record culminated in Yeo's dismissal, Minnesota has turned things around and are within two points of Nashville and the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

"Any win on the road is a good win," said Torchetti, who took over the bench on Saturday.

Pominville set up Haula for the game's first goal 10:22 into the contest, then was set-up by Haula for a one-timer at 18:16 of the second to make it 4-2.

The third member of that line, Nino Neiderreiter, assisted on both goals.

"We try to keep it simple and make sure that we have that thought in our mind, first take care of our own end and then get north," said Haula about the strong game for his line. "It doesn't matter at this time who scores, but it's always nice to get the line involved."

You get down three and it's just an uphill battle the rest of the night. We definitely cost ourselves tonight with some mistakes.- Flames captain Mark Giordano on Wednesday's 5-3 loss to Minnesota

Jason Zucker, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle, into an empty net, also scored for Minnesota (25-22-10).

Deryk Engelland, with his first of the season, David Jones and Mikeal Backlund scored for Calgary (25-28-3). The Flames have lost three straight and are nine points back of a wild-card spot.

"You get down three and it's just an uphill battle the rest of the night," said Calgary captain Mark Giordano. "We definitely cost ourselves tonight with some mistakes, again, made a push late but it's too hard in this league to keep getting down two, three goals and trying to claw back into games."

Minnesota surged in front 2-0 with a short-handed goal with 26 seconds left in the first when Zucker ripped a shot over the shoulder of Jonas Hiller.

"We gave them those two goals, plain and simple," said Flames coach Bob Hartley, who otherwise was pleased with the first period, despite trailing by two. "On five-on-five, a missed assignment and a puck right in the slot, and then that short-handed goal, a one-on-one situation and they beat us."

The loss capped off a bad day for the organization. First it was learned that starting goaltender Karri Ramo was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Then, the NHL announced it was upholding the 20-game suspension for defenceman Dennis Wideman.

Minnesota went up by three at 3:09 of the second on Koivu's 12th goal. It was the 10th power-play goal allowed in the last four games for the Flames, who are the NHL's 30th ranked penalty kill.

Dubnyk had 25 stops for Minnesota. Jonas Hiller had 19 saves for Calgary. The veteran has lost all three starts since Ramo's injury, giving up 12 goals.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.