The last thing the Minnesota Wild needs is to play a stout defense. But so it goes.
The Wild, who have lost five in a row and 13 of 16 dating back to Feb. 4, will play the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. That means Minnesota will have to contend with a team that is both desperate and, maybe more troubling, ranked No. 7 in the league in both goals allowed and penalty killing.
Playing a tough defense comes at a bad time for Minnesota. The Wild have been shut-out three times in their last five games. Over the last three games, they have scored but one goal and have been outscored 15-1.
The Coyotes will be desperate for a win. They are currently in seventh in the Western Conference standings with 75 points, just one point ahead of a three-way tie for eighth.
Thursday's game starts at 9 ET and will air on Fox Sports North and Fox Sports Wisconsin.