In year two of a five-year, US$26.5 million deal, Pominville entered the game with just one goal and one helper in his last 23 outings.
He matched that output by setting up Erik Haula for the game’s first goal 10:22 into the contest, then was set-up by Haula for a one-timer at 18:16 of the second that made it 4-2. It was just the seventh goal and 23rd point this season for Pominville.
After a 1-11-2 record culminated in the firing of coach Mike Yeo, the Wild have won their first two games under interim coach John Torchetti and are within two points of Nashville and the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
The loss capped off a bad day for the organization. First it was learned that starting goaltender Karri Ramo was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Then, the NHL announced it was upholding the 20-game suspension for defenceman Dennis Wideman.
The Wild surged in front 2-0 with a short-handed goal with 26 seconds left in the first when Zucker ripped a shot over the shoulder of Jonas Hiller.
Minnesota went up by three at 3:09 of the second on Koivu’s 12th goal. It was the 10th power-play goal allowed in the last four games for the Flames, who are the NHL’s 30th ranked penalty kill.
Calgary got on the scoreboard at 11:28 of the second on Engelland’s first goal in 56 games.
Jones made it 3-2 at 16:38 on a weird one, his shot deflecting into the air off the stick of Wild defenceman Mike Reilly, hitting his defence partner Mathew Dumba in the face, and fluttering over goalie Devan Dubnyk.
Backlund scored on the power play with 4:11 left but Calgary’s couldn’t get it back to even.
Dubnyk had 25 stops for Minnesota. Hiller had 19 saves for Calgary. The veteran has lost all three starts since Ramo’s injury, giving up 12 goals.
NOTES: Minnesota’s Zach Parise had an assist for his 600th NHL point… Calgary D Ladislav Smid (upper body) did not return after exiting in the first period… Wideman served game eight of his suspension… Flames were without D Kris Russell (lower body), who missed his second straight… Minnesota D Marco Scandella (upper body) did not play.