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Wild snap Canucks' streak with shootout win

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Prior to facing the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville formulated a plan on how he would beat goaltender Roberto Luongo if the game went to a shootout.

And although he didn't execute his plan perfectly, it was good enough for the Wild, as Pominville fired a high snap shot past Luongo in round three of the shootout, lifting the Wild to a 3-2 victory at Xcel Energy Center that snapped the Canucks' seven-game winning streak.

"I had something in mind but it wasn't what I did," Pominville said. "I had looked at what he does a little bit before the game. I thought I could do something else and then Zach [Parise] went and made me change my mind."

Parise's forehand-backhand-forehand move was shut down by Luongo with a sprawling pad save. After Mikko Koivu ripped a backhand loudly off the crossbar, it was up to Pominville to give Minnesota a chance to win. He kept it simple, calmly skating in before snapping a shot over Luongo's glove for his 21st career shootout goal.

Ryan Kesler then fired wide against Josh Harding to end the game.

The win was Minnesota's second straight shootout victory; the Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Saturday in Denver.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said his team had some leftover "residue" from the road and came out flat. Vancouver took advantage 8:46 into the game when Jannik Hansen capped a 3-on-2 break by firing a wrist shot over Harding's blocker for his sixth goal of the season. Daniel and Henrik Sedin assisted on the goal.

"We looked a little bit flat, just didn't have the same jump at times," Yeo said. "But our guys dig deep. That's two games in a row we've been down after two and come back to get a win."

A tripping penalty on Chris Higgins put the Wild on the power play and three minutes after Hansen's goal, Parise tied the game when he slammed in a pass from Koivu at the right post for his 15th of the season. The goal was Parise's eighth power-play tally of the year, and marked the first time in eight games (20 power plays) the Canucks had allowed a power-play goal.

"We need to get the next [goal]. We've been getting the next one and we didn't tonight," Canucks coach John Tortorella said.

Vancouver regained control and grabbed the lead again at 11:01 of the second when David Booth gathered in a rebound of Yannick Weber's shot from the right circle and beat Harding for his fifth goal of the season. Mike Santorelli had the other assist.

After a nondescript start to the third, the Wild turned it on during the final 15 minutes of regulation, grabbing the momentum before tying the score when Charlie Coyle took a feed from Koivu and snapped a shot through Luongo's five-hole from the right circle for his fourth goal of the season at 8:47.

Koivu assisted on both goals, giving him a team-high 20 for the season.

"Tough one to answer," Pominville said of Minnesota's final-period surge. "We might have had more jump, more legs, maybe we were better with the puck. I think a lot of it comes to us being better with the puck, playing more physical and, obviously, skating better."

Minnesota, outshot 12-9 in the first and 11-7 in the second, won the shots battle 11-5 in the third and 5-3 in overtime, finishing with a 32-31 edge for the game.

"You just gotta keep plugging away and eventually it wears them down," Coyle said.

"After their second goal, I don't think it was sitting back, I just thought we lost ourselves a bit," Tortorella said. "I thought [the Wild] were dead in the water when we were up 2-1. But after they scored the second, we were on our heels."

Santorelli, Higgins and Ryan Kesler all had chances for Vancouver in the shootout, but only Higgins put a shot on goal. Santorelli's shot hit the crossbar and Kesler missed the net. The Canucks have lost three straight shootouts.

"We [stink] in the shootout. Yeah, we do. We gotta try different people I guess because we stink at it," Tortorella said.

Luongo, making his first start at Xcel Energy Center since Oct. 19, 2010, finished with 30 saves. He had been pulled in his last three starts here dating back to 2009.

"I think we need a save on the second goal, but he made some great saves in overtime," Tortorella said. "I've never been here with him, it's a big story that he stinks here, but I thought he played well tonight."

"I gotta make the save on that second goal, that's the bottom line," Luongo said. "If I do, we win the game 2-1."

The Canucks visit the Dallas Stars on Thursday and the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday to complete their three-game trip.

Minnesota embarks on a four-game trip of its own beginning Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Vancouver defenseman Ryan Stanton left the game in the second period after being tripped into the boards by Wild forward Zenon Konopka. Stanton crashed awkwardly and lay on the ice for several moments before being helped to the bench. He returned to the ice a few stoppages later to test the leg but was unable to continue and went back to the locker room. He left the arena in a walking boot and Tortorella said he will need further evaluation.

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