Wild Keep Jets Grounded, Close Out Road Trip With 4-2 Win

Alexander Shun | @alexpshun

Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com

Jason Pominville made it look easy for the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night as the Wild winger tallied four points - two goals and two assists - as he helped lead Minnesota to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

Pominville is one of the Wild's hottest players of late and his four-point night against the Jets gives him seven points in his last five games.

"I feel good. I feel comfortable," Pominville said after his team's victory Tuesday night. " I don't know if I'm doing a lot of things different, but I'm just getting rewarded a little more for it."

While Pominville was certainly the star of the game, Nino Niederreiter had himself quite a game as well, scoring his 16th and 17th goals of the season to give him now five points in his last five games. Charlie Coyle also added three assists on the night.

“Charlie is a good player, and he doesn’t get a lot of notice — maybe it’s because we’re in Minnesota or whatever the reason. But he’s a good player, and tonight he came to play," Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "And so did Niederreiter. And Pominville got four points. Those guys held us down.”

Niederreiter opened the scoring for Minnesota after he took the feed from Coyle on the rush, drug the toe and laced a wrist shot past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec high glove side to give the Wild the 1-0 lead midway through the first period. The Wild weren't done in the period yet.

With less than a minute to go in the first, Coyle intercepted a Jets' pass then dropped it off for Pominville as the two entered the Winnipeg zone. Pominville wound up and fired it past Pavelec stick side to give the Wild the 2-0 lead after one.

"He was buzzing, moving well, made some plays," Pominville said of Coyle's performance Tuesday night. "A couple of turnovers and we were able to get some rushes and we were able to pick corners. That's always nice."

Less than three minutes into the second period, Pominville would add his 10th goal of the year and second of the game to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead and it appeared as though the Wild were set to make the game a rout. But Winnipeg wasn't about to give up.

Just over three minutes after the Wild had claimed a 3-0 lead, the Jets got on the board.

Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba fired a shot at Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk from the point which the Wild goalie calmly stopped, but Bryan Little corralled the rebound and flipped it backhand past a sprawling Dubnyk to cut Minnesota's lead to 3-1.

"You can't take the effort from us," Winnipeg's Nikolaj Ehlers said, speaking about his team's performance Tuesday night. "We've had problems with that this year, but if we can have the effort, and get a few lucky bounces, I think we have a good chance of winning these games."

Joel Armia added his fourth goal of the season after he ripped a shot over Dubnyk's shoulder to cut Minnesota's lead to 3-2, but the Jets would come no closer.

Niederreiter tallied an empty-net goal with a little over one minute remaining in the game to send Minnesota home with a 4-2 win.

Dubnyk made 38 saves on 40 Jets' shots to earn his 29th win of the season, tying him for the league-lead with Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.  

“I’m really proud, especially in the third when they didn’t have much left in the tank,” Boudreau said, speaking on his team's gutty performance. “I thought they played with really good structure and really smart and to hold them off. That’s what winning hockey is all about.”

The Wild are 3-0-0 against Winnipeg this season and close their four-game road trip with a 3-1-0 record and now head home to begin a franchise-record eight-straight games at Xcel Energy Center.

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