After dropping their first road game of the regular season to Nashville in the shootout, the Coyotes rolled into the Twin Cities looking to change their luck against the Minnesota Wild. Unfortunately for Arizona, their frustrating start to the season continued with a 2-0 loss at the Xcel Energy Center.
With Mike Smith back between the pipes for Arizona, the first period saw fairly balanced play from both teams. Despite a handful of high-risk plays from both sides, the opening period saw no scoring from either team. After giving up at least one first period goal in each of their games so far this season, the Coyotes were content to head to the dressing room having given up no goals on 12 shots.
If the first period was draw, there was no doubt the Wild were the clear winners of the second stanza. The second period saw early chances for the Wild and they didn't waste any time capitalizing as Charlie Coyle deflected a Jared Spurgeon shot past Smith just shy of the three minute mark. It didn't take long for the Wild to strike again as Jason Pominville blasted a slapshot home barely 90 seconds after the first goal. That would be it for the second period scoring, but the Wild would continue to pressure the Coyotes, and Arizona would continue to give them chances with turnovers and bad penalties.
It looked like the Coyotes had cut the gap in half three minutes into the third period, however it was ruled that B.J. Crombeen's collision with Minnesota netminder Darcy Kuemper nullified Kyle Chipchura's apparent goal. That would be the closest the Coyotes would come to scoring, as the Wild would go on to finish them off 2-0.
- For Minnesota's perspective, stop by Hockey Wilderness.
- For once this season, Mike Smith was the bright spot for the Coyotes, stopping 27 of 29 for a .931 save percentage.
- Antoine Vermette remains the best thing going in the faceoff circle -- he won three-quarters of his draws.
- The Coyotes penalty kill was a perfect 3 for 3.
Our Three Stars of the Game
- Darcy Kuemper - A perfect 26 for 26 in net for the Wild.
- Charlie Coyle - Signs a five year extension and promptly pots the winning goal.
- Jared Spurgeon - Assisted on both Minnesota goals.
The Coyotes return to the friendly confines of Gila River Arena on Saturday the 25th for a 6 p.m. tilt against the Florida Panthers, complete with a post-game concert by the Gin Blossoms.