Wild fall to Coyotes after sloppy game out of their bye week
Simply put, the Wild can’t afford to lose to a cellar dweller like the Coyotes
TEMPE, Ariz. — So much for starting off on the right foot out of the bye week.
Frankly, the Minnesota Wild got exactly what they deserved on Monday night at Mullett Arena in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
They looked lifeless in the early stages, and even worse, couldn’t stay out of the penalty box for the life of them. The difference in the sloppy game was a sloppy play that helped former Wild prospect Jack McBain score the game-winner for the Coyotes.
It wasn’t the type of start the Wild were looking for out of the bye week. They know they need to string together some wins with the Western Conference playoff race heating up. Simply put, the Wild can’t afford to lose to a cellar dweller like the Coyotes.
It was a bad start for the Wild as they couldn’t stay out of their own way in the first period. Joel Eriksson Ek started the parade to the penalty box with Jon Merrill and Matt Boldy following close behind him. That disrupted any sort of flow for the Wild as coach Dean Evason couldn’t roll his lines.
The only reason the Wild weren’t trailing was because Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the slack with save after save between the pipes.
Things started to turn for the Wild in the second period as the top line provided the wakeup call amid the sleepy start. The marathon shift featured Sam Steel on the ice for 2 minutes, 4 seconds, Kirill Kaprizov on the ice for 2 minutes, 6 seconds, and Mats Zuccarello on the ice for a whopping 2 minutes, 47 seconds.
After controlling the puck in the offensive zone for more than a minute, Zuccarello forced a turnover in the neutral zone, and Kaprizov made it 1-0 shortly thereafter with a shot in close.
On the very next shift, the Coyotes responded with a solid effort of their own only to come up empty after hitting the posts on three separate occasions. After the whistle, Fleury gave the iron some love, showing his appreciation like he’s been known to do throughout his career.
The sloppy play finally came back to bite the Wild later in the second period as Ryan Hartman took a penalty and Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun scored on the power play to level the score at 1-1.
The score held until the third period when Jonas Brodin cashed in on a shot from long range to make it 2-1. The sequence started with Eriksson Ek forcing a key turnover, then narrowly missing the net with a shot. Though it looked like that might be enough for the Wild to walk away with the win, Chychrun tied the game at 2-2.
It got worse from there for the Wild as McBain garnered a breakaway after a bad pinch. He put a move on Fleury in front, then flicked the puck into the back of the net to make it 3-2 in favor of the Coyotes. It was sweet revenge for McBain against the team that drafted him.
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