A night after clinching a season sweep of the Golden Knights via a 4-2 win, the Wild will try to avoid dropping its third and final matchup to the Coyotes Saturday when the team concludes a back-to-back in Arizona.
The Coyotes defeated the Wild 4-3 in overtime in Minnesota Feb. 8 and more recently 5-3 March 1 on home ice.
“They’ve played really well,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of the Coyotes. “The first game we had a 3-0 lead on them and then all of a sudden when the emotions start going, we couldn’t stop it. It was like a runaway train. Last game I thought again for two periods we played almost perfect hockey, and a few mistakes in the third period that ended up costing us. Those are three big points we’ve lost against this team, but you gotta give them credit.
“ … They’re giving every team they play all they can handle. It’s up to us to forget about last night and get back up emotionally and play the game we’re capable of playing.”
Friday was certainly a feel-good effort by the Wild; not only did it secure its third win of the season against the Golden Knights in its first trip to Nevada, but Las Vegas native Jason Zucker had a memorable performance with a goal and an assist.
“You can be excited about a good win in Vegas,” Boudreau said. “But at the same time, you have to string points together if you want to solidify your spot in the playoffs.”
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Nino Niederreiter
Tyler Ennis-Matt Cullen-Charlie Coyle
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Daniel Winnik
Ryan Suter-Matt Dumba
Gustav Olofsson-Jonas Brodin
Nick Seeler-Nate Prosser
199: Career wins for goalie Devan Dubnyk.
300: Games for defenseman Matt Dumba.
11-2-3: The Wild’s record against the Coyotes in their last 16 meetings.
2-0: Arizona’s record against the Wild this season.
7: Points for rookie Clayton Keller in his last eight games.
About the Coyotes:
Since the calendar flipped to 2018, the Coyotes have been drastically better than they were at the start of the season when they debuted 0-10-1. They’re 14-9-6 in 2018 and are 11-4-2 in their last 17 games. Since Feb. 8, Arizona has given up 38 goals – which is the second-fewest in the NHL. The team has been especially successful on home ice lately, going 8-3-1 in its last 12 games at Gila River Arena. Hastings native Derek Stepan has a team-high 29 points in 37 home games.