ST. PAUL, Minn. -- There came a point when Alain Vigneault coached the Vancouver Canucks that he simply stopped starting Roberto Luongo in Minnesota.
Luongo not only rarely won at Xcel Energy Center, the veteran goalie often didn't make it to the final buzzer.
John Tortorella couldn't care less about Luongo's history and 3.56 goals-against average at the X. Vancouver's new bench boss made it clear Tuesday morning that Luongo was going "to exorcise that demon if that's what everybody thinks this is."
Hours later, in Luongo's first appearance in St. Paul in more than three years, Luongo avoided being yanked for the first time in four starts at Xcel Energy Center and played quite well, but the Wild rallied for a 3-2 shootout victory to end the Canucks' seven-game winning streak.
Charlie Coyle scored 8 minutes, 47 seconds into the third period to force overtime, Jason Pominville scored his 21st career shootout goal and Josh Harding wasn't beaten by three Canucks shooters in the extra, extra session.
Harding made 29 saves through overtime to lift the Wild to consecutive shootout victories.
Luongo made 30 saves, but it wasn't enough as the Wild now hits the road, where it's 6-8-3, for three games before the NHL's Dec. 24-26 holiday hiatus.
Luongo had to be good late in the third period when the Wild began to buzz shift after shift. It outshot the Canucks 16-8 the final 25 minutes, but still, the Wild has scored five goals in the past 250 minutes, 6 seconds of hockey (four-plus games) and 20 goals in the past 13 games (1.53 per game).
Trailing 2-1 in the third, the Wild broke out of its zone clearly all period. Defenseman Jonas Brodin crossed a pass from board to board in the neutral zone to trigger a 3-on-2.
Mikko Koivu crossed into the zone and fed Coyle, who tied the score with his fourth goal of the season and second in 15 games.
The Canucks, scorching hot of late, scored first for the eighth consecutive game before the Wild tied it in the first period on Zach Parise's eighth power-play goal of the season off another Koivu setup.
But in the second period, two shifts after Parise didn't get the benefit of a trip after stealing the puck and driving the net and one shift after the second line hounded the Canucks zone without being able to pot one behind Luongo, the Canucks scored the go-ahead goal.
Defenseman Ryan Suter, gassed from that long forecheck in the offensive zone, didn't tie up David Booth or reach the puck when Harding couldn't swallow Yannick Weber's shot.
The puck fell, and Booth, wide open, buried the rebound.
It was a frustrating period for the Wild, which just couldn't penetrate the middle of the offensive zone. The Canucks play fast and physical in the defensive zone, as Tortorella preaches, and the Wild had little time and space to do anything along the wall or in the middle of the ice.
Whenever a puck was popped up to the point, the defenseman either had to risk having his shot blocked or simply slide the puck down wide for the forward to try to begin a cycle all over again.
It led to some exhausting shifts.
Both Vancouver's goals in the first two periods came after long offensive-zone shifts by the Wild. The Wild ultimately couldn't score, the Canucks quickly countered against tired players and capitalized. The first time it was Jannik Hansen burying a 3-on-2 setup from the Sedin twins after the Wild's top line lost a puck battle down low.
The Wild had drawn 20 power plays the previous 10 games, the fewest in the NHL.
But the Wild drew two in the first period and tied the score on its first after Chris Higgins tripped Kyle Brodziak off a faceoff to negate the final 22 seconds of a Canucks power play.
Parise's goal against the NHL's top penalty kill, which had extinguished more than 90 percent of opposing power plays this season and had doused 20 consecutive power plays during its seven-game winning streak.
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