Columbus, OH – Ryan Suter and Charlie Coyle potted a power- play goal apiece, while Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots to notch his second shutout of the season, as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0, on Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
Jason Pominville, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at Wednesday's trade deadline, recorded a goal and an assist for his first two points as a member of the Wild, who snapped a three-game skid and sit just two points back of the idle Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the Northwest Division.
"What you saw tonight is what our game is supposed to look like," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I really liked a lot of players tonight. I thought everybody was on top of their game."
Sergei Bobrovsky allowed all three goals on 24 shots for Columbus, which has dropped two straight to fall four points back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After a scoreless first frame, Minnesota broke through while on the power play early in the second when Suter skated into the high slot and rifled a wrister over the glove of Bobrovsky for a 1-0 lead at the 3:13 mark.
A hooking penalty against Columbus forward Vinny Prospal at the 13:54 mark gave Minnesota another man advantage and the Wild quickly capitalized, as Mikael Granlund received the puck in the right circle and made a nice one- touch pass to the low left side, where Coyle pounded it home for a 2-0 lead with just under five minutes left in the middle stanza.
Columbus had a pair of power-play opportunities in the final period, but Backstrom turned away all 12 shots he faced in the frame to secure his 28th career shutout.
"We lacked energy in the second period," Columbus coach Todd Richards admitted. "We picked it up in the third, but we still didn't do enough."
Pominville lit the lamp with 1:25 left in the contest to account for the final margin.
Minnesota improved to 9-10-1 on the road, while Columbus fell to 11-5-5 at home ... The Wild have taken both meetings with the Blue Jackets this season, including a 3-2 decision on Jan. 29 in Minnesota ... Minnesota went 2-for-3 on the power play, while Columbus failed on all four of its chances with the man advantage.