After a bit of a rocky start for the Western Conference finalists, the Coyotes have taken their second consecutive win at home beating the Minnesota Wild by a score of 2-1. This win solidifies Mike Smith’s shutout of division rival Dallas just two nights ago.
The Coyotes got off to a hot start against the Wild putting 17 shots on goal in the opening period, however they were only able to put 1 up on the scoreboard, where it really counts. The goal scored by Lauri Korpikoski his 4th of the season was assisted by stout D-man Keith Yandle. The Coyotes were then able to add to their lead on a goal scored by Martin Hanzal at 7:48 of the 2nd period.
Minnesota tallied their one and only goal 30 seconds after the midway point of the second period when Zach Parise stole the breakout pass in the Coyote zone and ripped a wrister past Mike Smith to make the score 2-1. This was the 200th career goal for Parise and honestly the lone bright spot for an otherwise lackluster performance by the Wild.
Phoenix outshot Minnesota 34-22. Something that he Coyotes are not exactly used to seeing on the scoresheet following any game. It’s usually the Coyotes defending their zone the majority of the game, not the other way around. This can be attributed to very disciplined play by the Coyotes through the first two periods of play, taking zero penalties until Steve Sullivan hooked Torrey Mitchell at 8:49 of the 3rd period. Later on in the 3rd period, Derek Morris took a penalty for holding the stick, again of Torrey Mitchell. The Coyotes killed off both of these infractions with a couple of scares, however, no shots were officially recorded on net during the two powerplay attempts by the Wild.
Late in the game, 3rd star Zbynek Michalek was hit up high by what looked to be a stick and was taken to the dressing room with about a minute to go in the game. While I don’t see any reason for concern, it is worth noting that this guy goes down to block any shot that he can throughout a hockey game and truly deserved the 3rd star of this game, along with his assist on the Hanzal goal in the 2nd period.
In the final seconds of the game, the Coyotes stayed at home, and didn’t get distracted by the open net that was vacated by Backstrom with just under a minute left to play. Defense came first (as it ALWAYS seems to under Dave Tippett) and this truly sealed the win for the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Coyotes pick up their 10th point of the shortened season and a record of 4-4-2, moving them to 6th place in the Western Conference. The look to continue their short home win streak against the red-hot Chicago Blackhawks at Jobing.com Arena Thursday night at 9:00pm ET.
About the Author
Written by Nick DeLucia
Chemistry and Mathematics student from Buffalo, NY. I follow every team of every sport, particularly the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Yankees, Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bulls.