Final Score: Minnesota 4, Phoenix 1
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Fontaine recorded his first career
hat trick and Niklas Backstrom stopped 39 shots, as the Minnesota Wild earned
their fourth straight win with a 4-1 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes at
Kyle Brodziak broke a 1-1 tie with his fourth of the season 3:21 into the
third period before Fontaine found the back of the net twice in the final
frame to help the Wild run away with the victory.
"He's paid his dues and he's just done nothing but show up to the rink
everyday and doesn't take anything for granted," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo
said of Fontaine.
Mikkel Boedker registered Phoenix's lone goal, while Mike Smith allowed three
goals on 27 shots for the Coyotes, who have lost six of their last eight
"This was a game we knew it was going to be tight-checking and every play
counts, and we didn't get it done," Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said.
With the score tied 1-1 early in the third, Brodziak chipped a loose puck past
a defender near the red line before skating into the right circle and rifling
a wrister past the short side of Smith to make it 2-1 at 3:21.
Minnesota doubled its lead at 7:56, as Jason Pominville's chip-in from the
right point appeared destined for the area behind the Phoenix net, but the
puck took a strange carom off the end boards and bounced toward the front of
the net, where a charging Fontaine tipped it home for a 3-1 lead.
Fontaine added an empty-netter at 18:48 to cap his hat trick.
The 26-year-old rookie opened the scoring with his ninth of the season at
18:41 of the first period, but Boedker slipped a backhander under Backstrom
from the low left side with Phoenix on the power play 2:04 into the second to
tie the tilt.
Minnesota's Nino Niederreiter and Matt Cooke collected two assists apiece ...
Minnesota forward Jason Zucker left the game with seven minutes remaining
after blocking a shot ... Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play ...
Boedker scored his 14th of the season.
01/10 00:22:26 ET
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