|MIN||2||0||0||0||1 (3 - 5)||3|
|PHX||0||0||2||0||0 (2 - 5)||2|
By Jerry Brown | NHL.com Correspondent
GLENDALE -- The Minnesota Wild gave everything they had from everyone who was left on their injury-shortened bench, and it was just enough to squeeze out a rare win in the second half of the season.
Despite starting the game with 17 skaters – including one stricken with the flu – and ending it with just one healthy goalie, the Wild blew a 2-0 lead in the third period but still hung tough and pulled out a 3-2 shootout win over the Coyotes on Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.
Despite the loss, Phoenix (33-25-10), which fell behind 2-0 for the fifth straight game, remained in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, a point ahead of San Jose, but fell three points behind Dallas in the race for the Pacific Division lead and dropped to 0-4-1 in March after going 11-0-1 in February.
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"If you want to paint a picture that we didn’t want to see today, that was exactly it: We gave up two quick goals on really unearned chances," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "We’re digging ourselves big holes and that doesn’t fit our style whatsoever. We’ve given away points during this last little streak that are just unacceptable for our group."
With a long list of players already out, the Wild had to go with five defensemen when Jared Spurgeon came down with the flu, injured Clayton Stoner was unable to make it through warmups and 2008 first-round pick Tyler Cuma couldn’t get to Phoenix in time after missing a flight from Houston. Flu-stricken winger Devin Setoguchi was running from the bench to the bathroom in the first two periods and then goalie Josh Harding suffered an apparent right knee injury in the second period.
Rookie Matt Hackett, the last healthy goalie in the organization, made 15 saves and three more in the shootout and Dany Heatley scored Minnesota’s third shootout goal in the fifth round as the Wild snapped a five-game winless streak and handed one to the Coyotes (0-4-1) at the same time. Hackett and Harding combined to make 39 saves for Minnesota.
Ray Whitney and Shane Doan scored in the shootout for Phoenix, putting the Coyotes in front each time, but Radim Vrbata, Mikkel Boedker and Oliver Ekman-Larsson were stopped by Hackett. Erik Christensen and Setoguchi had the other shootout goals for the Wild.
In the last eight days the Coyotes have lost five times including two to the League’s worst team (Columbus) and once to a Minnesota, now 9-22-7 since beating the Coyotes here on Dec. 10 – when they led the other 29 NHL teams by five points.
Phoenix took 71 shots in the game, including 30 that were blocked by the Wild.
The Wild (29-29-10), who capitalized on yet another listless start by Phoenix, grabbed a 2-0 lead with goals 58 seconds apart from Kyle Brodziak and Steven Kampfer early in the first period thanks to a pair of Coyotes mistakes.
|Photo by Norm Hall.|
From behind his own net, defenseman Keith Yandle put a breakout pass right on the tape of Minnesota’s Darroll Powe, whose shot was deflected by Brodziak past Phoenix goalie Jason LaBarbera at 4:06. Brodziak’s 15th goal and his third in two games in Glendale this season gave the Wild its lead for the first time in two weeks – since a 3-2 shootout win over Florida on Feb. 23.
Minnesota doubled its lead just 58 seconds later after another Phoenix turnover led to a Minnesota rush and Matt Cullen set up Kampfer – acquired on Feb. 27 from Boston – for a shot that beat LaBarbera to the short side for his first NHL goal.
Phoenix took control of the game from there but couldn’t score in the second period, even after Harding left after making a save during a Coyotes power play. Hackett took over and made big stops on Yandle and Whitney late in the period to keep Phoenix at bay.
The Coyotes had 52 shot attempts in the first two periods before finally breaking through in the third. Rookie defenseman Michael Stone pinched in along the left boards to hold a clearing attempt and centered into the slot to Raffi Torres, who beat Hackett for his 11th goal at 1:40 to break the ice.
Just 1:05 later, Coyotes center Antoine Vermette patiently waited for Lauri Korpikoski to come open between the circles for a pass, and Korpikoski punched it by Hackett to give the Coyotes new life.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
|Kyle Brodziak (17) ASST: Darroll Powe (7)|
1 - 0 MIN
|Steven Kampfer (1) ASST: Matt Cullen (20), Devin Setoguchi (13)|
2 - 0 MIN
|Raffi Torres (11) ASST: Michael Stone (1)|
2 - 1 MIN
|Lauri Korpikoski (15) ASST: Antoine Vermette (20), Adrian Aucoin (7)|
2 - 2 Tie
|1||R. Whitney||E. Christensen|
|2||R. Vrbata||M. Cullen|
|3||M. Boedker||K. Brodziak|
|4||S. Doan||D. Setoguchi|
|5||O. Ekman-Larsson||D. Heatley|
|Paul Bissonnette Fighting (maj) against Matt Kassian|
|Matt Kassian Fighting (maj) against Paul Bissonnette|
|Nate Prosser Tripping against Antoine Vermette|
|Nate Prosser Slashing against Raffi Torres|
|Darroll Powe Slashing against Raffi Torres|
|Antoine Vermette Slashing against Matt Cullen|
|Devin Setoguchi Hi-sticking against Keith Yandle|
|SA: 17||TOI: 33:22|
|Saves: 15||EV: 15 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .882||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 24||TOI: 31:38|
|Saves: 24||EV: 19 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 24||TOI: 65:00|
|Saves: 22||EV: 22 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .917||SH: 0 - 0|