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Wild break out of scoring slump, but still loses to Winnipeg

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The Minnesota Wild nearly doubled their goals per game output, but still lost to the Winnipeg Jets Friday at the MTS Centre.

The Jets scored two goals in the third period, including an empty-net tally to get the 6-4 victory.

Blake Wheeler broke a 4-4 tie 10 minutes and 40 seconds into the third period by sliding a loose puck under Niklas Backstrom for the game-winning goal. It was his 14th goal of the season and second of the game.

The Wild (20-15-6) entered the game averaging 2.13 goals per game and had just 11 goals in the last seven games. It took the Wild seven minutes and four seconds to top its average.

The two teams traded one-goal leads in the first period, before trading goals prior to the final minute of the game.

Dany Heatley got the Wild on the board first with an open net shot off a cross-ice pass from Jason Pominville at the 2:13 mark of the opening period.

The Jets (17-18-5) quickly countered with a short-handed tally by Evander Kane and a tap-in goal by Olli Jokinen two minutes and nine seconds apart.

Justin Fontaine and Stephane Veilleux turned the one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead 10 seconds apart.

Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien finished off the seven-goal first period in the final six minutes of the frame.

Mikko Koivu scored the only goal of the second period on a tic-tac-toe passing play from Charlie Coyle and Pominville with the man advantage.

The Jets capped the scoring with a full length shot by Tobias Enstrom into the open net with less than four seconds remaining in the game.

The Wild return to action Sunday against the New York Islanders at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Jason Pominville. The Wild forward recorded two assists.

No. 2 - Al Montoya. The Jets goaltender stopped 22 shots.

No. 1 - Blake Wheeler. The Jets forward scored two goals.


Minnesota…..3 1 0 - 4

Winnipeg……4 0 2 - 6

First Period - 1, Minnesota, Heatley 8 (Pominville, Granlund), 2:13. 2, Winnipeg, Kane 11 (Frolik), 3:48 (sh). 3, Winnipeg, Jokinen 9 (Setoguchi, Thorburn), 5:57. 4, Minnesota, Fontaine 7 (Cooke, Brodziak), 6:54. 5, Minnesota, Veilleux 1 (Spurgeon, Mitchell), 7:04. 6, Winnipeg, Wheeler 13 (Trouba, Ladd), 14:50. 7, Winnipeg, Byfuglien 7 (Tangradi, Pardy), 17:50. Penalties - Wright, WPG (boarding), 2:34; Pominville, MIN (tripping), 18:19.

Second Period - 8, Minnesota, Koivu 8 (Coyle, Pominville), 3:40 (pp). Penalties - Jokinen, WPG (hooking; served by Scheifele), 2:44.

Third Period - 9, Winnipeg, Wheeler 14 (Little, Trouba), 10:40. 10, Winnipeg, Enstrom 4 (unassisted), 19:56 (en). Penalties - Frolik, WPG (goaltender interference), 11:16; Fontaine, MIN (tripping), 13:02.

Shots on goal - Minnesota 13-5-11 29. Winnipeg 11-10-17 38.

Goalies - Minnesota, Backstrom (32-37). Winnipeg, Pavelec (3-6), Montoya (22-23). Referees - Dennis LaRue, Don VanMassenhoven. Linesmen - Kiel Murchison, Brad Lazarowich.


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