In a battle between two teams vying for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Coyotes fell to the Minnesota Wild 4-1 at Jobing.com Arena. For Phoenix, it marked a third home loss in its last four games.
Here’s a look back at the three-goal loss by the numbers:
The Wild received the bulk of their scoring from 26-year-old right winger Justin Fontaine, who recorded his first career hat trick — which included two third period goals.
Goaltender Mike Smith has given up at least two goals at home in 12 straight games dating back to a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 29.
Smith has also allowed four combined goals in each of the last two third periods he’s played. Heading into both frames, the Coyotes either were tied or held a lead.
Jobing.com Arena has served as a home away from home for Minnesota of late. Thursday’s win moved the Wild’s record to 5-2 in games played in the Valley since 2011.
Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of former Coyotes netminder Brian Boucher’s modern-day NHL record fifth consecutive shutout — which coincidentally came against the Wild.
While their might not be a goalie controversy yet for Phoenix, Smith’s play of late has been concerning to say the least. The 31-year-old has three victories in his last 17 starts good for a winning percentage of .176.
After missing the last two games due to an upper-body injury, Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson returned to the lineup against Minnesota, recording a team-high four shots and 26:22 of ice time.
Mikkel Boedker reached the 30-point mark for the first time in his career Thursday thanks to a second period tally. Boedker now has six points in his last five games.
Niklas Backstrom came into the contest averaging 28.4 saves per contest in 23 career appearances against Phoenix. In the 4-1 win Thursday, he had 39 saves.
Even in a losing effort, Thursday was a bit of a milestone for two members of the Coyotes. Both Mike Smith and Mikkel Boedker were playing in their 300th career NHL game.