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Shootout tips help Wild defeat Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- With three shootout losses in as many tries this season, the Minnesota Wild needed a break when overtime ended Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

It came in the form of a little advance scouting from goaltending coach Bob Mason.

Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville scored on Carolina goaltender Justin Peters on the Wild's three shootout shots for a 3-2 win.

"Right before, someone radioed down and said [Peters] bites on fake shots," Parise said. "So I wanted to sell it on the way in and I got him to slide the other way."

Koivu and Pominville each scored cleanly to erase the frustration of the first three shootout losses. Yeo affirmed that Mason's insights made a difference.

"We pre-scout all this stuff," Yeo said. "Bob Mason goes over every goalie. [Some players] almost want to be left alone a bit [before the shootout]. Others want the information. That's all part of it."

Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding turned in another solid performance, stopping 29 shots and raising his record to 9-2-2.

Pominville scored the 200th goal of his career when Ryan Suter fired a puck through center ice to him, and he sent a shot over Peters' glove at 3:33 of the first period.

"I put my head up and it was Suter," said Pominville, who has 14 goals in 32 games against Carolina. "He made a good play and I think I had a lot of time. Those kind of breakaways don't happen too often."

Carolina quickly tied the game in the first period when Ryan Murphy's wrister from above the right circle deflected off Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser and fooled Harding at 4;53.

The Hurricanes took the lead in the second period when Jiri Tlusty slipped the puck between Harding's pads at 7:14, but Justin Fontaine answered a little more than four minutes later. Marco Scandella's shot from the point was redirected by Fontaine in the slot and past Peters at 11:22.

In overtime, the Hurricanes appeared to have an ideal opportunity to win. When Minnesota forward Mikael Granlund was called for hooking, Carolina spent 40 seconds with an extra attacker on the ice before the 4-on-3. But despite 1:07 of power-play time, Carolina managed three total shots in overtime.

"We have to be happy with the fact that we played one of the top teams in the West that doesn't give up many chances," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "It was a chess match, a good tempo game. We got great opportunities and we defended well."

The Hurricanes (6-7-4) were coming off consecutive wins following a five-game losing streak.

"I think it's all just coming together to be honest with you," Muller said. "We've had a couple good, strong games lately, and we are playing well in our zone. We're skating better and spending more time in the offensive zone."

Suter continued a remarkable trend, logging 35:28 of ice time. It came two nights after playing 36:51 in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.

"I always joke that I'm just a good glider," Suter said. "I feel good when I'm out there and I want to be out there. Taking nothing away from the other guys, they do a great job when they're out there. But I feel comfortable out there the more I play."

The game provided two points for Minnesota (10-4-4), which has a franchise-best 24 through 18 games.

"It wasn't our best [game]," Fontaine said. "We stuck with it though. It was a frustrating game for us. You're going to have those nights at some point. It's not an excuse. I think Carolina played good too."

Yeo put a little stock in earning a win when the game extended past regulation.

"To finally get that extra point was big," he said. "On the bench we had that feeling that tonight it was going to come to us. Getting that huge kill at the end of the game, obviously you start to think that maybe this was our night."

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