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Arizona Coyotes get blown out at home in loss to Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild left wing Kevin Fiala (22) scores a goal on Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta during the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, March 5, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. Minnesota won 5-1. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist, Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 24 shots and the Minnesota Wild jumped on the Arizona Coyotes early in a 5-1 victory Friday night.

The Wild had a lackluster performance two nights earlier in a loss to Vegas, but were all over the Coyotes from the start in the opener of the two-game series.

Zuccarello scored on Minnesota’s second shot of the game, and Brad Hunt and Nick Bjugstad also had goals in the first period.

Jordan Greenway scored early in the second period and had an assist for the Wild. Kevin Fiala also scored, and rookie Kirill Kaprizov and Marcus Foligno had two assists each.

The Wild gave up 10 goals in a pair of losses at Vegas after winning their previous six games.

The Coyotes followed up a 3-2 win at Los Angeles on Wednesday night with a clunker. Arizona had numerous defensive breakdowns to dig a big hole early and came to life offensively too late.

Clayton Keller scored for Arizona and Antti Raanta had 22 saves.

“Some of our best players didn’t show up. They were not good tonight,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “They know who they are and hopefully they go home, get some rest and come with a better effort.”

The Wild lost 5-1 to Vegas on Wednesday night despite having nine more shots, but took advantage of their opportunities in a dominating first period against Arizona.

Zuccarello scored 4.5 minutes in, one-timing a pass from Kaprizov right off a faceoff win the Coyotes’ end.

Hunt scored his first goal of the season late in the period on a shot from near the blue that squeezed under Raanta’s stick arm. Bjugstad scored 1:09 later to make it 3-0, one-timing into an open net after Kaprizov pulled Raanta out of position and backhanded a pass from behind the goal.

Greenway took advantage of an Arizona defensive breakdown five minutes into the second period and beat Raanta between the pads on a breakaway.

“We came out OK, I thought, then we just kind of lost it,” Coyotes forward Tyler Pitlick said. “We weren’t working. We weren’t executing the plays. We just really weren’t ourselves tonight.”

Keller finally got the Coyotes on the board early in the third period, one-timing a cross-ice pass from Jordan Oesterle over Kahkonen’s glove.

Fiala sealed it with his seventh goal after the Coyotes turned it over in their own end.

HOME STRUGGLES

Arizona has been decent on the road, winning four of its seven games.

At home, the Coyotes are 6-6-3 despite being one of the few NHL teams to allow fans in the arena.

“Maybe guys are driving in, spending too much time in the car — I don’t know what it is,” Tocchet said. “There’s definitely a lack of energy at home and we’ve got to put our finger on it.”

ICE CHIPS

Keller has matched a career high with goals in three straight games. He also tied Mikkel Boedker for the fourth-longest consecutive games played streak in franchise history at 257 straight.

UP NEXT

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper is expected to start Saturday against Minnesota after missing three games with a lower-body injury.


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