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Coyotes score four unanswered goals, defeat Minnesota in overtime

Arizona Coyotes' Derek Stepan, left, celebrates the winning goal in overtime by Clayton Keller, right, against Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Despite a two-goal deficit heading into the third period against Minnesota, the Arizona Coyotes managed to defeat the Wild in overtime on Thursday night.

The Coyotes started slow, as the Wild built their lead in the first 30 minutes of the contest, scoring three unanswered goals.

Midway through the second period, Coyotes center Nick Cousins ended Arizona’s scoring drought to make it 3-1.

In the third period, defenseman Kevin Connauton joined Cousins on the scoresheet, diminishing the Wild’s lead to 3-2 midway through the third period.

With just over a minute to play the Coyotes were relentless on offense, pressuring the Wild as they attempted to keep the Coyotes from scoring what would be the game-tying score.

After numerous shot attempts and one that was just inches away from crossing the line, Cousins scored his second goal of the night to force overtime.

“With the goalie pulled anything can happen, so it was nice to get one there,” Cousins said. “I think they were on their heels there in the third period and that was probably one of our better periods of the season.”

There, the Coyotes hot streak continued.

Just under two minutes into the extra period, center Clayton Keller scored Arizona’s fourth unanswered goal of the game, sealing the dramatic victory for the Coyotes.

The goal was Keller’s second game-winner of the season, the first coming Dec. 22 against the Washington Capitals.

The Coyotes came into the contest with the worst record in the NHL, and far from playoff contention while the Wild are fighting for a playoff spot.

While Arizona’s win won’t have any implications on its outcome for the season, it did snap a four-game losing streak, something head coach Rick Tocchet can be proud of.

“That was a good, gutsy win,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “We picked up the pace, we had puck possession and guys started believing what we were doing out there.”

The Coyotes will now head home to face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.


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