GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ryan Hartman was a bystander for the final leg of the Wild’s previous rally, a come-from-behind bid that faded into a one-goal loss Thursday in San Jose after Hartman was dinged with a questionable slashing major and misconduct against the Sharks’ Evander Kane in the third period.
Not only did killing off that penalty put the Wild’s offensive pursuits on hold, it also cost it a sparkplug in Hartman, who may have helped seal the deal.
But in his next chance, Hartman made up for lost time by clinching a 4-3 comeback win over the Coyotes on Saturday in front of 14,428 at Gila River Arena. The Wild twice erased two-goal deficits to improve to 2-1 with one stop to go on this four-game road trip.
“I tend to like to finish the game,” Hartman said.
Promoted to the third line after winger Luke Kunin was a late scratch with food poisoning, Hartman capitalized on the opportunity — burying a crafty feed from the corner by defenseman Jared Spurgeon 4 minutes, 54 seconds into the third for his first game-winner with the Wild.
“It’s nice to finally put one in and contribute a little bit,” Hartman said.
His story of redemption, however, wasn’t the only one.
After giving up three goals before the halfway point, goalie Devan Dubnyk found a rhythm, turning aside 20 consecutive shots to give the Wild the steadiness it needed to claw its way back. Overall, Dubnyk totaled 32 saves. At the other end, Darcy Kuemper made 20.
“The last period [Dubnyk] looked like he found his way again,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “So I was really happy for him.”
Arizona opened the scoring when a pass by Aaron Ness bounced off Michael Grabner’s skate and rolled into the net at 8:50. By 12:40, it was 2-0. But an early power play in the second galvanized the Wild.
After winger Jason Zucker whiffed on the rebound from a Spurgeon shot, captain Mikko Koivu walked into the puck at 3:19. Arizona regained a two-goal cushion on a rising shot by Vinnie Hinostroza at 8:20, but the Wild again persevered.
“You don’t want to fall behind and be chasing the game all the time,” Koivu said. “I also think that we, for the most part, have been playing pretty good. We recognize that and can get wins in tough buildings, and we proved that again.”
Winger Kevin Fiala deked into an open net after gobbling up a rebound at 13:04.
And then with 50 seconds to go in the period, Zucker found defenseman Matt Dumba for a blistering slapshot that sailed by former Wild goalie Kuemper — whom the Wild said was chirping during the game, an exchange some players described as good-natured but one that bothered Koivu.
“To me it’s not fun what happened,” he said. “It is what it is. Leave it at that.”
That two-goal response set up a third straight tally from Hartman and like it did Tuesday in Anaheim, when the Wild came from behind to win 4-2, the team displayed a resiliency that is becoming a calling card for this group.
“We were able to find a way,” Hartman said. “I think that’s kind of been our identity.”