Wild move into first place with win over Blackhawks

CHICAGO--Jason Pominville scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild held on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Chicago Blackhawks center Dennis Rasmussen (70) and Minnesota Wild center Tyler Graovac (44) fight for a face off during the first period at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday night. Photo by Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO-Jason Pominville scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild held on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

Nino Niederreiter and Chris Stewart also scored as the Wild erased a two-goal deficit in the final two periods. Minnesota (28-9-5) beat Chicago for the eighth straight regular-season matchup and moved in front of the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Central Division standings.

Patrick Kane scored both goals for the Blackhawks. Chicago (27-14-5) lost its second game in a row.

Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves on 35 shots to improve to 23-7-3 on the season.

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford turned aside 29 of 32 shots to fall to 16-10-3.


A friendly bounce helped Minnesota grab a 3-2 lead with 14:52 remaining in the third period.

Defenseman Marco Scandella fired a slap shot from near the blue line that missed wide of the net.

The puck ricocheted off the end boards and on to Pominville's stick to the right of the crease. Pominville quickly swept the shot into the net to snap a 19-game scoring drought.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring 4:33 after the opening faceoff. Kane flicked a wrist shot from the right circle that deflected off Dubnyk's blocker and bounced into the net.

Kane scored again to increase Chicago's lead to 2-0 with 15:44 remaining in the second period. Center Artem Anisimov won a faceoff in the left circle, and Kane ripped a shot into the top left corner of the net for his second goal of the game and his 14th goal of the season.

Minnesota scored on the power play to trim the deficit to 2-1 with 13:37 to go in the second period. Niederreiter spotted a loose puck near the crease and punched it past Crawford for his 12th goal.

A hard wrist shot by Stewart evened the score at 2 with nine minutes left in the second period. Jordan Schroeder slid a cross-ice pass to Stewart, who scored for the second time in as many games.

NOTES: C Nick Schmaltz anchored the Blackhawks' fourth line one day after he was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. Schmaltz, 20, had one goal and three assists in 26 games with Chicago earlier this season. ... Wild D Nate Prosser was a healthy scratch for the fifth game in a row. ... Blackhawks C Andrew Desjardins and RW Jordin Tootoo were healthy scratches as the team played seven defensemen. ... Wild RW Kurtis Gabriel was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game. ... Blackhawks C Artem Anisimov played despite missing Saturday's practice because of an illness. ... Sunday marked the two-year anniversary of G Devan Dubnyk's first game with the Wild. The Arizona Coyotes shipped Dubnyk to Minnesota for a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft.


Minnesota Wild right wing Jason Pominville (29) scores the winning goal past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period at the United Center. Minnesota won 3-2. Photo by Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

What To Read Next
Get Local