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Flames fall 5-3 to Wild on Wednesday

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- The Minnesota Wild won for the second time in as many games under interim coach John Torchetti by defeating the Calgary Flames 5-3 on Thursday.

Erik Haula, Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu each had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves for Minnesota (25-22-10). Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle had goals for the Wild, which has won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 28-31.

Minnesota snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in Torchetti's debut. The Wild were 1-11-2 in their previous 14 games before replacing coach Mike Yeo on Saturday.

Deryk Engelland, David Jones and Mikael Backlund scored for the Flames (25-28-3), who have lost three in a row after winning three consecutive games.

Haula put Minnesota up 1-0 midway through the first. Wild forward Nino Niederreiter was checked off the puck while circling behind the Flames' net, but Pominville picked it up and centered a pass into the slot to Haula, who beat goaltender Jonas Hiller to the blocker side at 10:22.

The Wild made it 2-0 by scoring a shorthanded goal with 25.4 seconds remaining in the period. Zucker beat Flames defenceman Jakob Nakladal's poke check on a loose puck inside Calgary's blue line and snapped a shot over Hiller's blocker and under the crossbar.

Koivu scored 10 seconds into a two-man advantage at 3:09 of the second period, but Calgary scored twice in just over five minutes to get within one goal.

Engelland slid down from the point and beat Dubnyk at 11:28 for his first goal in 56 games dating to March 25, 2015. Jones' shot deflected off the stick of Wild defenceman Mike Reilly and the face of Matt Dumba before floating behind Dubnyk at 16:38.

But Pominville beat Hiller after taking a quick drop pass from Haula with 1:44 remaining in the period to put Minnesota up 4-2.

On their third power play of the third period, Sam Bennett spotted TJ Brodie with a backdoor pass, and the defenceman promptly found Backlund off the opposite post for a tap-in at 15:49, cutting the lead to 4-3.

Coyle scored into an empty net with 42.8 seconds remaining.

Flames defenceman Ladislav Smid left in the first period because of an upper body injury and did not return. Calgary is already without defencemen Dennis Wideman (suspension) and Kris Russell (lower body).

Wild defenceman Marco Scandella, who was a game-time decision, did not play because of an upper-body injury.

Minnesota ends a three-game Western Canada trip against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Calgary finishes a three-game homestand against the Canucks on Friday.

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