Wild hold off Blackhawks for victory

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 5:30 a.m.CDT
Caption
(Jim Mone)
Minnesota Wild's Matt Cooke, right center, is congratulated on his goal by Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser, right, as Chicago Blackhawks' Johnny Oduya, left, of Sweden, and Michal Rozsival, skate to their bench in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke scored first-period goals and Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Blackhawks, 2-1, Thursday night.

The Wild, who lost to the Hawks in five games in the first round of the playoffs last season, have won three of four against the Hawks this season. The Hawks lost in regulation for only the second time since Dec. 15.

Kuemper was making his sixth consecutive start as Minnesota’s top two goalies, Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom, have been sidelined with health problems. The Wild are 5-3 with rookie in the net this season.

Patrick Kane spoiled Kuemper’s shutout bid when he scored his 24th goal of the season with 31.2 seconds left to bring the Blackhawks to within one.

But Kuemper stopped one final flurry in the last 10 seconds and Zach Parise cleared the puck from Minnesota’s zone to run out the clock.

Pominville opened the scoring at 8:08 of the first period. Dany Heatley carried the puck across the Hawks’ blue line and passed to Mikael Granlund near the goal mouth. Granlund spun back around and slid the puck across the slot, where Pominville was waiting to send it in the open net for his 20th of the season.

The Hawks killed off a 5-on-3 power play, but Minnesota doubled its lead late in the first period. Justin Fontaine won a race to a loose puck and tipped it to Cooke, who slipped it past Antti Raanta from the left faceoff circle.

Kuemper got a little help from his defense to keep it 2-0 late in the second. During a Minnesota power play, Pominville tripped at the Hawks blue line and Marian Hossa pounced for a short-handed breakaway. But defenseman Ryan Suter caught up to Hossa just in time to prevent him from getting a clean shot.

The Wild welcomed Parise back on Thursday after the U.S. Olympic Team member missed 14 games with a broken left foot.

Notes: Hawks D Duncan Keith missed his first game of the season Thursday. He was a pregame scratch because of an illness. ... Hawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman is scheduled to have right knee replacement surgery Friday in Tampa, Fla.

The 13-time Stanley Cup champion has a residence about an hour from Tampa. ... Kuemper’s mask broke during the second period, and he used Backstrom’s mask for about 10 minutes while it was being fixed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More News

Watch Now

Player embeded on all DDC instances for analytics purposes.

NIU Senior Center Andrew Ness Talks Spring Practice

More videos

Reader Poll

What is your favorite Easter candy?
Chocolate Easter bunny
Creme eggs
Jelly beans
Peeps
Other