Minnesota Wild right winger Nino Niederreiter, of Switzerland, watches as Canadiens goalie Carey Price deflects a shot during the first period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.
Photograph by: Ann Heisenfelt, AP
ST. PAUL — The Canadiens’ weekend got off to a shaky start as Repentigny native Jason Pominville snapped a 3-3 tie at 14:32 of the third period to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Canadiens Friday night at the Xcel Energy Center. It was the second goal of the game for Pominville who also had an assist.
Coming back: The Canadiens showed their determination as they battled back from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits. Brendan Gallagher redirected a pass from Alex Galchenyuk to pull the Canadiens even at 1-1 in the first period. P.K. Subban ended a four-game drought when he took a feed from Andrei Markov scored with a slapshot on a power play at 7:12 of the third period. Brian Gionta pulled the Canadiens even when he deflected Markov’s shot from the point at 10:13. Subban earned the second assist on Gionta’s.
Total breakdown: Nobody looked good when Pominville gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead at 8:41 of the second period. The fourth line had trouble clearing the puck and Subban was caught out of position when he pinched in. That left Markov as the lone man back and Pominville slipped behind him to take a pass from Mikael Granlund for a clean breakaway. Pominville also had an assist on Nino Niederreiter’s third-period which gave the Wild a 3-1 lead. .
Mitchell chips in: Torrey Mitchell, the pride of Greenfield Park, picked up an assist on the opening goal of the game by Justin Fontaine. Carey Price was screened on Fontaine’s shot at 5:45 of the first period.
Specialty items: The Canadiens did win the battle of the special teams in a game that featured few penalties. The Canadiens had two opportunities and scored once while Minnesota came up empty on one advantage.
Stop that puck: Josh Harding, who came into the game as the NHL leader in goals-against average and save percentage, made 28 saves to run his record to 6-2-1. Carey Price made 21 saves for the Canadiens.
Injury updates: Daniel Brière and Brandon Prust both accompanied the team on this trip so they could spend some time with their fathers, who accompanied the team on the trip, but neither is close to a return. Brière is still working through the NHL’s concussion protocol while Prust is slated for a late November return from his shoulder injury.
What’s next: Peter Budaj, who played six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, will face his former team Saturday night (10 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN-690 Radio). Coach Michel Therrien also anticipates having Max Pacioretty back in the lineup after missing eight games with a strained hamstring.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette