It was the Hawks’ second regulation loss this season, snapping a seven-game point streak.
The last time Backstrom was in net against the Hawks — in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals in April — he suffered a sports hernia during warm-ups and watched the Wild fall 4-1 in a five game series.
Pominville scored two and Zach Parise, Kyle Brodziak, and Justin Fontaine also put the puck past Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford while Backstrom gave up scores to Bryan Bickell, Patrick Kane, and Marcus Kruger. Ryan Suter and Mikael Granlund each had two assists in the first of two meetings in a three day span between the two teams.
Parise’s power-play goal midway through the first period put the Wild up 1-0. Five seconds into the man advantage, he knocked in a rebound from Suter’s long shot.
Brodziak redirected a Marco Scandella shot just over a minute into the second. This marked the first time the Hawks had trailed by two goals this season.
The Hawks looked to have cut the deficit in half halfway through the second. Recent call up Jeremy Morin fired a shot that bounced off Backstrom and into the air, Andrew Shaw deflected the puck with a high stick before it hit Clayton Stoner and went into the net. It was ruled a goal on the ice, but after a lengthy video review from the ‘war room’ in Toronto it was negated.
Bickell got the Hawks on the board a few minutes later, when he fired his fourth goal in as many games past Backstrom to cut the lead to 2-1. Five minutes later a Michal Rosizval turnover resulted in Pominville’s first goal, he added his second later to make it 4-1.
Kane added a power-play in the third for a glimmer of hope but Fontaine crushed it with a score to make it 5-2. Kruger then added a wrister in the final minute for a two-goal loss.
Backstrom stopped 33 shots while the Hawks went 1-for-7 on the power-play against a then 75-percent penalty kill team.
The two teams will complete their home-in-home on Monday in Minnesota at 7:00 p.m. CT (CSN-CH/WGN 720).