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Phoenix Coyotes @ Minnesota Wild Recap: At Least We Got A Point

The Phoenix Coyotes played one of their better games in recent memory against the Minnesota Wild tonight, as they took the Wild to overtime. But they were unable to walk away with the second point, losing 4-3.

Hannah Foslien

With another loss the Coyotes' loss streak extends to 7, and it have reached the point where the team considers being sellers at the trade deadline as opposed to buyers.

[Complete Coverage] - [Minnesota Reaction]

[Event Summary] - [Play-by-Play] - [TOI Report] - [Faceoff Report]

The game started off like many recent Coyotes games with the Yotes digging an early 2 goal deficit, thanks to Torrey Mitchell in the first period and Matt Cullen in the second. But the Coyotes showed some resilience this time against the hot Wild team. The Coyotes powered back six minutes after the Cullen goal thanks to a Rob Klinkhammer snipe and they even tied it up with Boyd Gordon getting a deflection off of a Keith Yandle shot. The Coyotes then managed to play with a lead as Michael Stone got a goal early in the third. Unfortunately the Coyotes couldn't hold it, surrendering the tying goal to Ryan Suter in the final minute of the third.

Overtime ultimately proved to be the Coyotes downfall as Antoine Vermette took a bad crosschecking penalty giving the Wild a 2 minute 4 on 3 power play. The penalty kill did its job and Barbs stood on his head for two minutes as the Wild came strong but it ultimately wasn't enough for the Desert Dogs. Vermette wasn't out of the box long before Mikko Koivu put the puck past Barbs giving the Wild the victory.

Paw Prints:

  • Lauri Korpikoski was a late scratch for the evening. It's unclear if he will play tomorrow night.
  • The last time Phoenix had the lead on the road was February 26th against the Vancouver Canucks.
  • Early on Steve Sullivan took a skate to the chin from a falling Minnesota player. Very dangerous looking but Sullivan was able to return to the bench.
  • This game featured some more terrible calls against the Coyotes including a goaltender interference call against Shane Doan that the Minnesota announcers even thought was a bad call and strange interference call against Rostislav Klesla.
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson led the team in time on ice with 27:45.
  • Both David Moss and Kyle Chipchura had fights in this games, Moss' came after he took a rough hit, Chip's came after the Wild scored their second goal. Moss' fight ended rather quickly after he lost his footing before he could through a punch; Chip's took a while to get started as he and Zenon Konopka went from blue line to blue line.

Five For Winning:

1. Score first. The last time Phoenix scored first in a game was the last time they tasted victory. This didn't happen.

2. Special Teams. At the very least the Coyotes need to be even in goal differential on special teams.This will be a tough task as the Wild statistically have better power play and penalty kills units than the Coyotes. The penalty kill was solid, but a power play goal would have been appreciated.

3. Discipline. Dumb penalties are one of the main reason the Yotes are struggling. They can't afford to put a suddenly hot Wild power play on the ice. For most of the game the Coyotes were good at not doing anything stupid until Vermette's cross checking in overtime.

4. Focus. The players needs to forget about the losing streak and the poor road record. This season has come down to maximizing every shift. Mental lapses have been the theme of the season. Even when they were down the Coyotes stayed focused and eventually took the lead. Focus didn't seem to be a problem this game.

5. Marty & Moss. Get big bodies screening and deflecting shots in front of Backstrom. Hanzal's goal against the Wings on Monday is an excellent example what they need to be doing. Unfortunately these two didn't have much of a screening impact, however Boyd Gordon did get a tip on the Coyotes second goal.

Our 3 Stars:

1. Rob Klinkhammer: Klinkhammer has been playing well these past few games, and he had a goal and an assist in this one. Other players on the roster should take a page out of his book.

2. Mikko Koivu: Koivu had the game winning goal and assisted on the game tying goal.

3. Jason LaBarbera: While Barbs' disastrous clearing attempt was directly responsible for the Wild's second goal he kept the Coyotes in the game with some unreal saves stopping 33 of the Wild's 37 shots.

Comment of the Night:


Crying in fetal position

As Featured in Sports Illustrated:
New Zealand's Number 1 Coyotes Fan - and I have the photos to prove it!
Five For Howling's official image finder and poster. Also somehow I'm a Moderator.

Looking Forward:

Hopefully the Coyotes are able to play a more complete game as they head to Nashville to play the Predators tomorrow. The Predators are also having problems this season and they could be just the team the Coyotes need to face to break their losing streak. More importantly this game will likely have some impact on how the Coyotes decide to proceed at the trade deadline.