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GDT: Coyotes look to tame the Wild

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After falling flat in Darcy Kuemper’s debut the Arizona Coyotes homestand continues as the Minnesota Wild visit the desert.

Minnesota Wild v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Game Preview

The Arizona Coyotes have had a few days off since they last played, a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. During that time the Coyotes stayed mostly quiet during the NHL Trade Deadline, choosing instead to bolster the Tucson Roadrunners’ roster as they prepare for the AHL playoffs.

Arizona played well in a lot of ways against the Vancouver Canucks, despite the outcome. It started well enough with an early Coyotes goal, but that goal was immediately called off for Goaltender Interference. Adding insult to injury Coyotes were assessed a minor penalty for Goaltender Interference, which led to Daniel Sedin scoring a goal on the resulting power play. Despite that early deficit, or maybe because of it, Arizona managed to outshoot the Canucks every period, and the Coyotes had solid possession numbers throughout the game. Jacob Markstrom held strong throughout the game though, and the Desert Dogs were only able to score one goal with Alex Goligoski scoring on a power play in the third period, with Derek Stepan and Brendan Perlini getting assists.

The Minnesota Wild have been hot as of late, with five wins in a row including an 8-3 win against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. That game saw 33-year-old Eric Staal net his first hat trick of the season for his 33rd goal of the season. Since signing with the Wild, Staal has played great, and if he continues at this pace he will finish with his second highest goals scored per season behind his sophomore season in 2005-06.

While the ‘Yotes are definitely not going to be in the playoffs, the Wild are deep in the playoff race. They are third in the Central Division, and are currently three points ahead of the Dallas Stars and are four points behind the Winnipeg Jets. The standings will likely start to solidify as we get deeper into the season, but the Wild can still move up or down in the rankings in the 19 games they have left to play this season.