Wild goalie coach Bob Mason scouts every opposing goalie before games and pays special attention to their tendencies in shootouts.

As he watched Carolina's Justin Peters before Saturday night's game, Mason made a simple note: Bites on fakes.

The message was radioed down to Zach Parise before his shootout attempt Saturday.

Parise sold Peters on an early wrist shot and faked a backhand before burying a wrister into an open net. Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville followed with shootout goals of their own and the Wild recorded their first shootout win of the season in a 3-2 victory.

The win puts the Wild at 10-4-4 on the season, good for 24 points, tying the 2006-07 franchise record for best start through 18 games.
"I didn't know that," coach Mike Yeo said.

More important was the type of game the Wild won.

They've lost several games this season in which they've outplayed the opponent -- most recently Thursday at Washington.

But for the first time, they ground out a win in a sloppy affair in which they were anything but crisp.

"It's good when you don't have it, like tonight, to still get the two points," Ryan Suter said. "Some nights you have it and you're playing well like earlier in the year and you don't get any points."

How sloppy was it? The Wild turned the puck over in the neutral zone and iced it repeatedly.

Blame it in part on the ice at PNC Arena, which Parise said was "terrible" and Yeo called "sketchy."

That caused a dragging, sluggish game and kept the more skilled Wild from setting up much.

"It wasn't our best, but we stuck with it," Koivu said. "It was a frustrating game, but we stuck with it and got a win tonight."

That was the most impressive part of Saturday night's game. The win was the Wild's seventh in nine games and second in their past three on the road, but this one was about winning ugly. That's something the Wild haven't done much this season.