Dave Vest | Anthony Perez
Andrew Brunette scored two goals to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes on Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena in the first game of a two-game homestand for Phoenix before a lengthy trip east.
scored both goals for the Coyotes (13-8-6), but they weren't enough as the Wild ended a five-game losing streak dating to Nov. 26 and beat the Coyotes for the first time in the past six meetings between the teams.
Brunette gave Minnesota (12-11-4) an early lead when his backhanded shot beat Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
and hit the top of the net at the 6:52 mark of the first period to cap a two-on-one rush.
The Coyotes tied the score 1-1 at the 14:33 mark of the period when rookie Oliver Ekman-Larsson
fed a pass to the front of the net that found Pyatt, who one-timed it past Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom for his fifth goal of the season.
Minnesota reseized the momentum late in the first period when defenseman Brent Burns snuck deep into the offensive zone and notched his seventh tally of the season at 19:04 (see KEY MOMENT
After both teams combined for 21 shots in a scoreless second period, Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin
was sent to the penalty box for holding the stick at the 10:39 mark of the third period. Brunette scored his second goal of the night with a wrist shot that beat Bryzgalov just 11 seconds into the power play.
After Minnesota’s Cam Barker was called for tripping at the 17:42 mark of the third period, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett pulled Bryzgalov for an extra skater and it paid off when Pyatt scored his second goal of the night, on the power play, in the closing minute to make it a one-goal game.
The Coyotes pulled Bryzgalov again after the ensuing faceoff but were unable to get another goal and complete the rally.
"I didn’t think we competed hard enough," Tippett said. "They played a very solid road game. They played a very disciplined game and it’s a game they make you earn everything you get, and we didn’t earn it. We didn’t deserve to win that game. We didn’t have enough players get in the trenches and deserve to win it. You can win games different ways where you have a great play by an individual, or a line might play well. The fact that we couldn’t draw a penalty in the game until late in the game, to me that’s just a clear indication that you’re not getting to the net hard enough, you’re not doing enough, and that’s the way the game went."
Backstrom stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced to pick up his ninth win of the season, while Bryzgalov stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced in the losing effort.
With the score knotted at 1 late in the first period, Wild forward Antti Miettinen slid a pass from the left corner to defenseman Brent Burns at the top of the crease. Burns, who was blanketed by Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle
and winger Ray Whitney
, stood his ground and muscled the puck past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
with 56 seconds left before the first intermission.
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to watch the KEY MOMENT
• Rookie defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson
returned to the lineup after being recalled from the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Ekman-Larsson, who was paired with Sami Lepisto
, logged 15:47 of ice time, delivered four hits and assisted on Taylor Pyatt
's goal in the first period.
• Forward Taylor Pyatt
has scored five goals in the past eight games after scoring just one goal in his first 19 games. That one goal came in the season opener vs. Boston on Oct. 9 in Prague.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle
assisted on Taylor Pyatt
's second goal. It was the 100th point of Yandle's NHL career.
• With the loss, the Coyotes dropped to 6-1-0 vs. teams from the Northwest Division.
• Captain Shane Doan
hit the crossbar with a shot in the first period, then hit the right post with a shot moments later.
• The Coyotes scratched David Schlemko
, Kyle Turris
and Nolan Yonkman
. All three players are healthy.
• The Coyotes' next game is on Saturday vs. the Dallas Stars at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).