The battle for the Western Conference’s first wild card spot looked to be headed in the Phoenix Coyotes’ favor after the first 40 minutes of play Saturday night.
But as has become the case from time-to-time in 2013-14, a dreadful third period bit them right in the butt.
Zach Parise scored two of Minnesota’s three goals in the final frame, as the Wild came from behind for a critical 3-1 win at Jobing.com Arena.
The loss puts Phoenix three points behind Minnesota for the seventh seed and only one point ahead of Dallas for the eighth seed.
Here’s a look back at the two-goal loss by the numbers:
For the third consecutive start, back-up goaltender Thomas Greiss allowed only two goals. In fact, Saturday was his best night of the three in terms of save percentage, as he stopped 27 of 29 pucks.
Since the Olympic break, Phoenix has lost eight total games. In five of those eight games, the Coyotes have allowed three or more goals in the third period.
Former Coyotes netminder Ilya Bryzgalov appears to have their number. Bryzgalov, who called Phoenix home from 2009-11, stopped 23 of 24 shots for his 10th career win against the Coyotes. He’s 10-3-1 all-time vs. Phoenix.
The one goal Bryzgalov did allow came on a redirect off the stick of Mikkel Boedker. The tally marked the 11th time in the last 13 games that Phoenix has scored on the power play. It was also Boedker’s team-leading eighth goal with the man advantage.
Captain Shane Doan registered 10 penalty minutes in the loss. To put that in perspective, that’s as many as he had during the first four months of the NHL season combined. For the month of March, Doan has spent 22 minutes in the sin bin.
From the 7:49 mark of the second period to the 1:56 mark of the third period, Phoenix failed to record a single shot on goal. During that span of 24 minutes and 28 seconds, the Wild took over the contest with two of their three goals on the night. The Coyotes finished the final 20 minutes of play with only three shots on Bryzgalov.
Oddly enough, Phoenix doesn’t play well in front of the home crowd during weekend games this season. The Coyotes are 5-7-0 in contests played inside Jobing.com Arena on Saturdays or Sundays good for a .416 winning percentage.
After serving as a healthy scratch the past two contests, center Mike Ribeiro returned to the lineup. The first-year Coyote recorded one shot on goal and had plus/minus of -1.