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game recap

Wild get second win since coaching change

Minnesota has back-to-back victories for first time in 2016

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

Suter's PPG extends lead to three

MIN@CGY: Suter scores for Wild on two-man advantage

2/17/16: Ryan Suter scores his eighth goal of the season on the power play, giving the Wild a 3-0 lead in the 2nd period

  • 00:47 •

CALGARY -- The Minnesota Wild won for the second time in as many games under interim coach John Torchetti by defeating the Calgary Flames 5-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday. 
Jason Pominville, Erik Haula 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. 

"It is nice," Pominville said. "We weren't that far off, but at the same time at key moments of the game we weren't finding ways to win. Now we are. We've got to keep it going and keep this streak alive." 
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. 

"I think the message is, 'Let's start to work, let's start to compete, and let's start to get the puck back,' " said Minnesota forward Zach Parise, who had his 600th NHL point. "We've responded well the first two games. Now we'd love to finish the road trip with another win. So far we've done pretty well, I think." 
The Wild finishes their Western Canada road trip at the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. 

Video: MIN@CGY: Haula scores to give Wild lead

The win moved Minnesota within two points of the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. 

"We can't think that right now," Koivu said of the playoffs. "We've got to build our game and build our confidence back. It's not going to happen by two games, but that's a good start. We've just go to build on it." 

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. 
"It's maybe a little frustrating when we look at the standings and see how far down we are, but it's a business and we have to come and winning's the result everyone wants," Jones said. "Things are tough when you're not winning. We're really putting ourselves behind the eight-ball starting games here."
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 defenseman 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 defenseman Mike Reilly and the face of Matt Dumba before floating behind Dubnyk at 16:38. 

Video: MIN@CGY: Haula feeds Pominville beautifully for goal

"I definitely haven't scored one like that," said Jones, who hadn't scored in 14 games. "It felt good to finally get one. It's been a little while, so hopefully it can lead to a little more offense from our line." 

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. 
"When you have leads it's easier to get life and get going and I think they got one, we still had the lead," Pominville said. "We still were pretty vocal on the bench. Guys were going well. We didn't deviate from our game plan. It's obviously a lot easier when you're going, when you're playing better and the team is going much better. We're not deviating, and it's led to us being rewarded more."
On their third power play of the third period, Sam Bennett spotted TJ Brodie with a backdoor pass, and the defenseman 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. 
"It's a good win," Torchetti said. "Any win on the road is a good win. They've got a great team and they come through the neutral zone with great speed. We didn't get out to the quickest start that I thought we would; it seemed like we left our legs in Vancouver. But then we got a goal and the last seven minutes of the [first period] were good."
Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid left in the first period because of an upper-body injury and did not return. Calgary is already without defensemen Dennis Wideman (suspension) and Kris Russell (lower body). 

Wild defenseman Marco Scandella, who was a game-time decision, did not play because of an upper-body injury. 
Calgary finishes a three-game homestand against the Canucks on Friday. 

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