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Dubnyk wins revenge match as Arizona Coyotes drop fourth straight

Vermette scored and Smith was solid, but it was Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild with the last laugh, as the former Coyote goaltender beat the team that traded him earlier this week.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Devan Dubnyk stopped 25-of-26 shots en route to a 3-1 victory over his former team, the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night. Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota while Antoine Vermette potted his 11th of the year for the Coyotes. Arizona drops its fourth in a row and starts their eight-game road trip on a poor note.

After trading Dubnyk for a third round pick earlier in the week, Arizona is likely feeling some seller's remorse. At the very least, the irony of the situation stings the Coyotes fan a little bit; the best goaltender for the Coyotes this season suited up for another team and actually managed to defeat them. All but lost is this season, and Dubnyk's victory is salt in the wound.

This matchup was billed as a goaltender's matchup and ultimately delivered on its promise. Both Dubnyk and Smith played incredibly well and both made incredible saves throughout the contest. But it was ultimately Dubnyk who had the last laugh. Smith looked a little more like the Smith of old, stopping 30-of-32 for a .938 save percentage, and his strong performance was met by some other strong Coyote performances.

For one, Mikkel Boedker continued his strong play from the last couple games. Despite not finding the scoresheet, he was a dynamo with the puck on his stick and played with a noticeable swagger throughout the game. There were times in the game when he rattled off some pretty slick dangles and kept momentum in Arizona's corner.

Also, the fourth line of McMillan-Vitale-Lessio was solid throughout the game. In the first period, McMillan fired point blank on Dubnyk, and the loose puck would find the stick of Lessio, but he could not find the back of the net. In the second period, the line had another chance when Vitale crashed the net. In fact, it was Vitale who drew the penalty that would give Arizona their first goal on the power play, a Vermette wrister off of Moss' rebound.

For Minnesota, Charlie Coyle scored the first goal of the game on a semi-broken play. Yandle and Erat knocked the puck loose off of Nino Niederreiter's stick, but right onto the stick of Coyle. Jason Zucker would make it 2-0 midway through the second period on a nifty give-and-go from Justin Fontaine.

Yandle had a chance to pot the equalizer at about the 7:36 mark in the third period, but the outstretched leg of Dubnyk proved just enough to keep his team on top. From there, Arizona would continue to bring pressure, but an empty-netter from Zach Parise would effectively end the game.

Three Stars

  1. Devan Dubnyk - A victory over his former team and an assist for safe measure
  2. Jason Zucker - Game-winning goal
  3. Mike Smith - A strong, albeit losing effort

Looking Ahead

Next up for the Coyotes, they fly over to Winnipeg to take on the Jets tomorrow. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. Arizona time.