RALEIGH, N.C. – Jason Pominville and the Minnesota Wild were winless in shootouts this season until a perfect performance Saturday night.
Pominville scored a goal in regulation and the game-winner in the shootout to lift Minnesota to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
All three Wild players scored in the shootout: Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Pominville.
“It wasn’t the prettiest win, but we found a way,” Pominville said. “I think that’s usually the sign of a good team. We go home now and try to keep it rolling.”
Justin Fontaine got the tying goal midway through the second period and Josh Harding made 27 saves to improve to 9-2-2 for Minnesota, which won for the seventh time in nine games.
It was the first victory for the Wild in six trips to Carolina.
“We were bound to win in a shootout in one of these,” Fontaine said. “The end result was what we needed. It’s always a big goal when you can tie the game up.”
Jiri Tlusty and Ryan Murphy scored for the Hurricanes, who had won two straight. Justin Peters stopped 28 shots but allowed all three goals in the shootout.
Since losing five straight, the Hurricanes have earned points in their last three games. They have two more remaining on a five-game homestand.
“I think it’s all just coming together,” Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. “We have had a couple of good, strong games lately and we are playing well.”
Carolina was 0 for 3 on the power play, while Minnesota finished 0 of 4.
Neither team had enjoyed any success in shootouts this season. Minnesota lost its three previous tries, including its last game at Washington. Carolina’s record in the tiebreaker fell to 0-3.
“We played a real solid game from start to finish,” said Peters, who got his first career assist. “I just wished I could have gotten one of those shootout goals to give us a chance, but they made some real nice moves.”
Pominville opened the scoring 3:33 into the first period on a breakaway for his 200th NHL goal.
The Hurricanes responded 1:20 later when Murphy, a second-year defenceman, took a shot from the right point that Harding couldn’t stop.
Tlusty made up for a pair of penalties he took in the first period by scoring his third goal of the season. He slipped a shot underneath Harding’s pads as he skated through the slot at 7:14 of the second period.
Fontaine tied it 4:08 later.
NOTES: Minnesota D Ryan Suter extended his assist streak to four games and leads the Wild with 11 this season. … Carolina RW Alexander Semin picked up his first assist since Oct. 28, giving him eight for the season.