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Wild Head to the Desert Looking for More Points

(Sports Network) – The Minnesota Wild will try to match their longest winning streak of the season and hand the Phoenix Coyotes a third setback in a row this evening at Arena.

The Wild picked up their sixth victory in seven games on Thursday with a 4-3 victory in Colorado. Kyle Brodziak and Andrew Brunette scored the fastest two goals in club history by doing so in the contest’s first 61 seconds.

Brunette added another goal in the second period and Jose Theodore made 38 saves in his first start since Jan. 11 because of a hip injury.

“Jose was very solid for us tonight,” said Brunette. “We definitely got the start we were looking for.”

Minnesota has won seven of its last nine on the road and is aiming to win four straight overall for the first time since Jan. 2-8.

Marco Scandella missed his seventh straight game with a concussion, while Cam Barker is questionable due to an eye injury suffered during a fight against the Avalanche.

Barker had the game-winning goal the last time these clubs met on Jan. 2 in Minnesota. His overtime tally was his first of the season and gave the Wild their second straight win over the Coyotes since a five-game series losing streak.

Minnesota has won five of its last eight in Phoenix and is tied with the Coyotes for seventh overall in the Western Conference with 59 points.

After blowing a three-goal lead in Tuesday’s loss to San Jose, Phoenix got nothing going the following night with a 6-0 setback to Vancouver. The Coyotes have lost four of five and six of their last eight games.

Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled in the third period after allowing five goals on 31 shots, while Jason LaBarbera played the final eight-plus minutes and gave up a goal on two shots. Defenseman Keith Yandle had his 10-game point streak end.

“There’s been a few games lately where we’re not playing well,” said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett. “We’re making brutal mistakes and sometimes the goaltenders clean them up and at times he doesn’t. We’re not getting anything cleaned up and making mistakes in front.”

Defenseman Ed Jovanovski was a late scratch due to an upper-body ailment suffered versus the Sharks, missing his ninth game this year due to injury.

The Coyotes dropped their fifth straight at home in the opener of a three-game residency.

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