NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Phoenix
(Saturday, January 16th)
Final Score: Phoenix 6, Minnesota 4
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Vernon Fiddler had two points, including what turned out to be the game-winning goal, as the Phoenix Coyotes held off a furious rally from the Minnesota Wild and won, 6-4, at Jobing.com Arena.
Fiddler also had an assist, while Petr Prucha scored twice and registered a helper for the Coyotes, who are 3-0 against the Wild this season. Shane Doan tallied a goal and an assist, and Radim Vrbata and Adrian Aucoin also scored in the win. Ed Jovanovski, fresh off a two-game suspension, had four assists, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves.
"Neither of the coaches are probably overly impressed with the defense in the game," Doan said. "But it's nice to win, and we're making it a little more difficult than we have to on ourselves. You get a 5-1 lead, you have to seal that game, but we found a way to win in the end."
Phoenix scored the first three goals of the third period to take a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead, but Minnesota roared back with three consecutive goals to get to within one. Vrbata's goal with a minute left then sealed the outcome.
Guillaume Latendresse notched his first career hat trick for the Wild, who have dropped two straight after a four-game win streak. Owen Nolan added a goal and an assist, and Martin Havlat had three assists in the loss.
"We tried to come back, but you can't win games playing hockey when you're facing a (large) deficit," Latendresse said. "It's so hard in this league. What happened against Chicago won't happen every night."
Niklas Backstrom stopped just 27-of-33 shots for Minnesota.
The Wild trailed, 5-1, with 10 minutes to play but scored three goals in the span of 4:07 to get back in the game.
With 9:24 to play, Latendresse tallied with Minnesota on the power play to climb to within three, and another Phoenix penalty moments later led to Nolan's tally with 8:33 left.
Latendresse completed his hat trick with 5:17 to go, scoring his 15th to make it a 5-4 game.
The Coyotes responded, though, as Vrbata iced the game with his 15th goal of the year with a minute remaining to give the hosts some breathing room.
Prucha put Phoenix on the board 7:45 into the game, taking a feed from Martin Hanzal in the slot and beating Backstrom from in close. Doan made it a 2-0 game 2:20 later with his 13th goal of the season.
Both defenses took over from there, and neither team scored again until Latendresse cut Minnesota's deficit in half on a goal with 2:25 left in the second period. Marek Zidlicky came up with an offensive zone turnover and flicked it toward the net; Havlat redirected it to Kyle Brodziak, whose shot was saved by Bryzgalov before Latendresse put the rebound into the net.
Then, in the third, neither team could prevent an offensive outburst, as seven total goals were scored in the frame.
Aucoin extended Phoenix's lead to 3-1 with a power play tally less than two minutes into the period, and Prucha scored with 11:28 remaining in the game for a three-goal margin.
Fiddler then notched a shorthanded goal with 10:10 left to seemingly put the game out of reach at 5-1 before Minnesota began its rally.
Minnesota trailed, 5-1, in the third period of a game against Chicago on January 9 and rallied to win, 6-5, in a shootout...Phoenix improved to 18-7-2 at home, while the Wild lost their fourth straight road game to fall to 8-16-2 this season away from home...Brodziak had two assists for Minnesota, as did Hanzal for Phoenix.
01/17 00:11:40 ET