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Wild Look To Rediscover Winning Ways Against Coyotes

(Sports Network) – The Minnesota Wild will try to avoid their worst losing streak in two years when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Arena.

The Wild have lost five in a row and tonight are in danger of dropping six consecutive games for the first time since an 0-5-1 stretch from Dec. 5-17, 2008.

Minnesota lost its first three games on this slide in regulation, but the last two setbacks have come in a shootout and overtime, respectively. The Wild dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to visiting Calgary on Friday and were dealt an overtime loss in Dallas the following night.

Stephane Robidas scored on Jose Theodore with 1:23 left in OT to give the Stars a 4-3 decision over the Wild. Theodore finished the game with 29 saves.

Martin Havlat had tied the game late in the third while Antti Miettinen and Chuck Kobasew also scored for the Wild, who haven’t won since beating Nashville on Nov. 26.

Wild defenseman Brent Burns missed the last game with an illness, but is questionable for tonight’s test. He has six goals and eight assists in 24 games this season, but just five assists in 19 career tests against Phoenix.

Minnesota is playing the second test of a four-game road trip tonight and has lost its last three away from home. The Wild are 4-5-2 overall as the visiting team this season.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, have won two of three games to begin December and one of those victories came on Dec. 1 in Minnesota. Phoenix has won five straight against the Wild and Minnesota has lost its last three games in the desert.

Phoenix was last in action Sunday in Anaheim and dealt the Ducks a 3-0 loss at the Honda Center.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves to record his second shutout of the season in Sunday’s win. Taylor Pyatt, Shane Doan and Lee Stempniak each had a goal for the Coyotes, who are 9-2-1 over their last 12 contests.

“I thought our team game was pretty strong,” said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. “We managed to protect the puck pretty well. I thought we played a really good, solid road game and we were able to get a goal in each period and not give up any. It was a good night for us.”

The Coyotes have not played very well on home ice this year, posting a 5-3-4 record in Glendale. Phoenix will host Dallas on Saturday before heading out on a six-game road trip.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.