Coyotes score 4 third-period goals to end Wild’s 5-game winning streak
GLENDALE, Ariz. — With six minutes left in the first period, the Coyotes hadn’t registered a shot on goal against the Minnesota Wild at Gila River Arena on Thursday.
The Wild’s scorching hot line of Eric Staal, Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund was probing the Arizona defense with chance after chance, Zach Parise gave Minnesota the lead on a Jordan Martinook mental lapse and the Wild looked to build on a 20-0-2 record when leading after one period.
The Coyotes had the Wild right where they wanted them.
Christian Dvorak, Richard Panik, Kevin Connauton and Martinook scored third-period goals and the Coyotes turned the tables on the Wild in a 5-3 win, just as they did when they rallied for a 4-3 overtime win on Feb. 8 in St. Paul after trailing by three goals.
“The first period wasn’t what we wanted,” Dvorak said. “We didn’t play good at all, but [Antti Raanta] stood on his head there for us and starting the second period we started waking up a little bit and then we found our game.
“I think from that last game up there we had a little confidence that we could come back on this team.”
Jakob Chychrun tied the game at 1-1 on a power play at 17:28 of the second period when he got to a loose puck off a face-off to the left of Stalock and snapped a shot into the short side of the net. That goal seemed to catapult the Coyotes into the third period.
Dvorak banged in his own rebound for a 2-1 lead at 4:32 of the third period. After Mikko Koivu tied the game on a power play, Panik scored his first goal in 16 games with the Coyotes when he converted a one-timer from Oliver Ekman-Larsson from the right face-off circle for a 3-2 lead at 8:09.
“I thought it was probably one of his better games as a Coyote,” coach Rick Tocchet said. “He’s playing north south. That’s why we acquired him.”
Connauton made it 4-2 at 12:04 with his seventh goal of the season — and sixth since Feb. 1 — off Domi’s third assist. It was Domi’s first three-point game since Nov. 18, 2016 at Colorado.
“I was just having fun, trying to go out there and enjoy the game,” Domi said. “I’m a playmaker, 100 percent, but this is a shoot-first league so you’ve got to be able to shoot, too. I still haven’t tapped into that but it will come.”
The Coyotes had some anxious moments after Matt Cullen made it 4-3 at 13:13 when he poked a loose puck between Raanta’s pads, but Raanta stopped Matt Dumba with 24 seconds left in the game and Martinook banked a puck off the glass to score into an empty net and improve the Coyotes to 7-2-1 in their past 10 games.
“Since January 1, I like the way the team is practicing and I like the way the team is playing,” Tocchet said. “We’re starting to get results.”
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