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Wild Win a Wild One

St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) – Cam Barker was the unlikely hero, scoring his season’s first goal just 46 seconds into overtime to put Minnesota past Phoenix, 6-5.

Barker’s one-timer from the point sailed past Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera’s glove to seal the Wild’s second win in three games.

Andrew Brunette tallied two goals and an assist, while Brent Burns had two helpers and a goal in a game that featured six scores in the final period.

“It was a wild third period that’s for sure,” Brunette said. “It was back-and- forth and we were able to score a late goal and one in overtime. We did some good things in the last bit of the game, but we also lost some mojo in the beginning of the period.”

Pierre-Marc Bouchard recorded the game-tying goal and an assist in the win, and Jose Theodore made 39 saves.

Ray Whitney posted two goals, while Keith Yandle notched a goal and an assist for the inconsistent Coyotes, who have dropped three of the last four. Scottie Upshall and Ed Jovanovski each lit the lamp, while LaBarbera surrendered six goals on 29 shots.

“Every time we made a mistake it ended up in the net,” said Coyotes forward Shane Doan, who had two assists in the contest. “We have to be better mentally.”

Burns appeared to get the game-winner with 8:46 left to put the Wild up 4-3. Mikko Koivu circled the puck and centered it to Burns from the point, and he ripped a shot that traveled through traffic and into the back of the net.

However, there were three more goals to be had during the final five minutes of play.

Jovanovski tied it at four apiece when he chipped in a cross-ice pass from Yandle at the 14:13 mark. Just over three minutes later, Whitney sent home a loose bouncing puck around the right side of the crease to put the Coyotes up, 5-4.

The extra-attacker gambit worked for the Wild when they pulled Theodore with 47 seconds left. Bouchard forced the overtime when he rifled a booming slap shot from the point that soared past LeBarbera with only 26 seconds remaining in regulation.

Whitney’s wrister was the game’s first goal at the 13:24 mark of the opening frame.

The Wild led a late rush to score with 4.4 seconds left in the first. Koivu sent a cross-ice laser to Brunette, who tipped the puck in past a diving LaBarbera to tie the game heading into the second.

The lead swung to Minnesota’s favor with Brunette’s second goal of the game on the power play midway through the middle period, then Nick Schultz’s slapper from the from the point rounded out Minnesota’s three-goal rally at the 12:13 mark of the second.

Phoenix responded with a two-goal spurt in 13 seconds during the early minutes of the third period.

Upshall made it a one-goal game after he banged home a rebound off of Doan’s wrister from in tight at 4:44. Yandle’s forechecking off the ensuing face off paid dividends to create a turnover and then he slammed it home from the slot to knot the game at three.

Game Notes

The Wild matched a season-high for goals in one game, originally reached in a 6-2 home win over Vancouver on October 19…Koivu had a season-best four assists in the win…Radim Vrbata had two assists in the loss…Minnesota did score on its only power play opportunity…Phoenix scored four third-period goals by peppering Theodore with 19 shots…Minnesota improved to 4-1 in overtime this season, while the visitors fell to 0-5.

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