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Monday, February 4, 2013

Coyotes Nip Wild; 2-1

Message received loud and clear--through two periods that is. One day after the demotion of two players from the second line to the fourth, and just six hours after swapping fourth line forwards (Darroll Powe to the New York Rangers, Mike Rupp to the Minnesota Wild); the Minnesota Wild played their best first two periods of the season. That wasn't enough though as the Wild fell to the Coyotes 2-1 in the desert.

The Wild outplayed the Phoenix Coyotes throughout the first two periods; Coming up with a 12-6 advantage in scoring-chance opportunities and controlling the play throughout the first 40-minutes of action. Yet, the Coyotes were the team with a 2-1 lead after two periods of play--thanks to goaltender Mike Smith

Smith, who led Phoenix to the Western Conference Finals last season, stopped almost everything the Wild threw at him. He made 21 saves; several spectacular. And he also had help from his goalpost, as the Wild rung two shots of the pipe( Jonas Brodin in the second period, Pierre-Marc Bouchard late in the third period).

Wild goaltender, Nicklas Backstrom, made 30 saves in a losing effort. Backstrom played OK in net for Minnesota. Although he allowed a terrible rebound off a weak shot from Radim Vrbata, which Phoenix forward Martin Hanzal was then able to bury into an empty cage. Hanzal's goal gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead, and was the eventual game winner.

Zach Parise scored Minnesota's lone goal after stealing the puck and sniping a quick wrist shot from the faceoff circle past Mike Smith. This was a milestone goal for Parise, as it was the 200th of his NHL career.

Forwards Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi both bounced back with solid games after being demoted from the second line to the fourth line. Granlund, in particular, seemed much more confident throughout the game as he seemed to skate with more purpose. He was able to create numerous scoring chances throughout the game both in front of the net and behind the net. Unfortunately, Phoenix defenseman, Keith Yandle made a skate save on him in the first period that kept the game scoreless.

  • With the loss, the Wild's record falls to 4-4-1
  • Minnesota is now win-less in four road games, and has gathered just one point, out of eight possible points, away from home.
  • Parise leads the Wild with six goals.
  • Defenseman Ryan Suter played almost 28 minutes to lead the team in ice time.
  • .Minnesota Wild prospect, Charlie Coyle, made his NHL debut and played very well. His size and skill will help the Wild. 
  • Phoenix had an announced crowd of, 9,508 fans( there was maybe 7,000 people there tops).... In case you were wondering, that means the stadium was 55% full.


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