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Wild Defeat the Coyotes 3-2 to Start Road Trip

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) – Andrew Brunette scored two goals and the Minnesota Wild halted a five-game winless skid with a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Brent Burns also scored while Antti Miettinen notched a pair of assists for the Wild, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip which will continue against the Kings on Saturday. Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves in the win.

Taylor Pyatt and Martin Hanzal scored for the Coyotes, who wasted an opportunity to move into a tie with idle Dallas atop the Pacific Division. Phoenix has cooled off a bit since a seven-game win streak in mid-November and is now 2-3-1 in its last six games.

Ilya Bryzgalov allowed three goals on 33 shots in the losing effort.

Brunette’s fifth goal of 2010-11 — assisted by Miettinen and Mikko Koivu — at the 6:52 mark of the opening period preceded a tally by Pyatt with 5:27 remaining in the stanza and the teams appeared to be headed for a 1-1 tie after the opening 20 minutes.

But with 56 seconds remaining before the first intermission, the Wild moved ahead 2-1 on Burns’ seventh goal. Miettinen held control along the goal line to the left of the net and sent the puck to the top of the crease. Burns was able to get his stick on it and the redirection ended up behind Bryzgalov amid heavy traffic in front.

A power-play goal by Brunette midway through the final stanza gave the Wild a bit of breathing room. Marek Zidlicky held control at the left point and fired a wrist shot toward the net. From the low slot, Brunette tipped the puck in midair and it flew past Bryzgalov and into the back of the cage at 10:50.

The hosts gained a power play in the final minutes of regulation and pulled Bryzgalov for the 6-on-4 advantage. With a minute to go, Hanzal’s eighth marker of the season gave the Coyotes life, but the Wild used several late clears during the waning seconds and held on for the victory.

Game Notes

Minnesota also snapped a five-game skid against the Coyotes overall…The Wild improved to 5-5-2 on the road this season…It was Pyatt’s fifth goal of the campaign…The Wild were 1-for-3 on the power play, and Phoenix was 1-for-2.

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