Wild's Pominville comes alive against Canadiens

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 8:04 AM

Jason Pominville scored two goals, including the game-winner after the Wild saw a two-goal lead vanish in the third period.

view larger photos



Things could have gone either way for Jason Pominville. Through the first five games of the season, the Wild winger produced a single goal, mirroring the struggles of his scoring-starved team.

Pominville didn’t get discouraged. He kept plugging away, believing that if he continued to put himself in the right position, his rewards would come.

Friday night, Pominville proved the value of persistence with two goals that lifted the Wild to a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at Xcel Energy Center.

His first goal, on a breakaway set up by a perfect pass from Mikael Granlund, gave the Wild a 2-1 lead in the second period. His second — after the Canadiens rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the score 3-3 with nine minutes, 47 seconds left — gave his team its fourth victory in the past five games. Pominville added an assist for good measure for the first three-point game of his brief Wild career.

The Wild, now 7-4-3, recovered from a shaky third period to win for the fifth time in eight home games this season. Pominville now has eight goals in his past nine games, including Friday’s winner with 5:28 left.

“Pucks are finding me, and I’m finding ways to put them in,” said Pominville, whose eight goals since Oct. 14 are tied for the most of any NHL player in that span. “We’re getting rewarded for all the work we’ve put in. As a line, we went through a little bit of a tough stretch; we weren’t able to generate much in the goal column. Now we’re starting to chip in.”

Wild coach Mike Yeo credited Pominville’s ability to keep the faith despite a slow start. The veteran winger leads the Wild with nine goals — five of those in the past three games.

“He didn’t get overly frustrated at the beginning of the year when things weren’t going in for him,” Yeo said. “He’s getting chances. He’s continued to play the right way, and that takes some strength. It takes a lot of character to stay with it and continue to do the right thing, and he’s getting rewarded for that.”

Pominville wasn’t the only hero. Granlund earned two assists to highlight a solid overall game and has a team-high 10 assists, surpassing the eight points he scored in 27 games last season. Keith Ballard’s two assists — including one on Pominville’s winner — gave him his first multipoint game in more than three years.

Yeo’s new-look lines preserved the duo of Pominville and Granlund, who continue to show impressive chemistry. After Justin Fontaine scored the game’s first goal at 5:45, Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher crashed the net to tie it 25 seconds later. Midway through the second period, Granlund threaded a pass through two Canadiens to Pominville for a breakaway goal and a 2-1 lead.

Granlund made another beautifully-timed pass to Nino Niederreiter for a tip-in at the right post early in the third period. But the swift, stubborn Canadiens — who outshot the Wild 31-25 — erased that margin with P.K. Subban’s monstrous slapshot on a power play, followed three minutes later by Brian Gionta’s redirection.

Yeo mixed up his lines in the third period to try and create some consistency. Pominville — who played with Granlund and Niederreiter in the final period — said he went out a bit early for a shift late in the game, while Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu were still on the ice. The result was the same; he slipped to the net, and when Parise deflected a Ballard shot, Pominville was there to seize the puck and snap a quick shot past goalie Carey Price.

“I was able to get a bounce and put it away,” Pominville said. “It’s nice to get rewarded that way.”


  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wild 4, Montreal 3

    Friday November 1, 2013

  • Postgame: A big night in two languages for Pominville

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    Some final notes, quotes and thoughts from a solid showing by the Wild, which lost a two-goal lead in the third period but kept its wits and won.

  • Wild notes: Montreal coach Therrien knew Yeo would get his shot in NHL

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    The two faced each other as opposing head coaches Friday for the first time since Mike Yeo took the Wild job in 2011.

  • Wild-Montreal game recap

    Saturday November 2, 2013

    game recapSTAR TRIBUNE’S THREE STARS1. Jason Pominville, Wild: Two goals, including the winner; leads team with nine goals.2. Mikael Granlund,...

  • Jason Pominville (left) is greeted by teammate Zach Parise (11) during third period action after scoring the eventual game-winning goal against Montreal.

  • The Minnesota Wild's Justin Fontaine (14) is greeted by teammates Clayton Stoner (4), upper left, counter clockwise, Keith Ballard (2), Torrey Mitchell (17) and Zenon Konopka (28) after Fontaine's first period goal.

  • Wild goalie Josh Harding made a first-period save — one of his 31 — against Montreal on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.

  • WILd 4, MONTREAL 3

    Up next: vs. New Jersey • 7 p.m. Sunday • Xcel Energy Center TV: FSN (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Oakland 6
Cleveland 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Cincinnati 9
Boston College 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Boston 0
Arizona State 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Arizona 0
Boston 6:00 PM
LA Lakers 6:00 PM
Sacramento 6:00 PM
New York
Houston 6:30 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Washington 7:00 PM
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Nashville 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Calgary 6:00 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Ottawa 7:00 PM
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Ole Miss 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich 6:00 PM
Ball State
Kent State 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio 6:00 PM
Georgetown 6:00 PM
Toledo 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
North Carolina 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Holy Cross
Iowa 6:00 PM
Akron 6:00 PM
Army 6:00 PM
Maryland 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Kentucky 8:00 PM
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Auburn 8:00 PM
Michigan 8:00 PM
Villanova 8:15 PM
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM
NJIT 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question