NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Phoenix
(Saturday, February 4th)
Final Score: Minnesota 6, Phoenix 4
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Wes Walz scored two goals and added two assists, as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 6-4, at Glendale Arena.
Marian Gaborik added two goals and Pierre-Marc Bouchard netted a goal and an assist for the Wild, who have won two in a row.
Veteran Geoff Sanderson scored twice and Mike Comrie had a goal and notched an assist for the Coyotes, who have lost three of their last four games.
Curtis Joseph struggled in goal, allowing four goals on 21 shots, before being replaced by newcomer Philippe Sauve in the third period. Sauve, who was acquired in a trade with Steven Reinprecht from Calgary on Wednesday, allowed two goals on 14 shots.
After a scoreless opening period, Walz scored about five minutes into the second stanza to give the Wild a 1-0 lead. The Wild then made it a 2-0 game after Gaborik tipped Walz's shot from the right circle past Joseph at the 8:44 mark.
Midway through the second, goaltender Manny Fernandez misplayed the puck as he fanned on a pass from in front of his crease and Mike Ricci jammed the puck into the net to make it a 2-1 game.
Fernandez finished the game with 32 saves.
"We got some goals from a lot of guys," said Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire. "We did not start well; we played better in the second period."
Minnesota responded with two goals to go up 4-1. Todd White's 17th goal of the season at 13:26 gave them a two-goal cushion. Gaborik then netted his second goal of the game after cranking a slap shot from the left circle that beat a screened Joseph.
"It was a very big win," said Gaborik. "We got a lead there for a while. We were undisciplined; we had a lot of penalties. We battled towards the end, got some breaks, scored goals, which we need. Big win, nice four points on the road."
Sanderson made it a 4-2 game heading into the final frame scoring with a minute left in the second period. A scrum for a loose puck in front resulted with Sanderson pushing the loose disc over the goal line.
Phoenix pulled to within a goal just 1:28 into the third period. On a 2-on-1 rush, Fredrik Sjostrom slid a pass across to Comrie and at the left side of the crease, he banged the puck home.
Bouchard gave the Wild a two-goal lead once again, knocking a rebound past Joseph at the 5:19 mark. Joseph was then sent to the bench in favor of Sauve.
Less than two minutes later, the Coyotes fought back once again and made it a one-goal game as Sanderson's deflection off Keith Ballard's blast from the point trickled into the net past Fernandez with 13:22 left in the third.
"We couldn't quite get it done again, we played hard, we played well," said Ballard. "We gave them to many chances and whatever chances we gave them were pretty quality ones and they did a good job taking advantage of that."
Walz, who was all over the ice, put the Wild up two goals with his second tally of the contest with 7:11 left to play in the game to cap the scoring.
The Wild improved to 2-2 against the Coyotes this season...Minnesota is now 11-13-3 on the road...The Wild went 1-for-7 on the power play, while Phoenix went scoreless in six opportunities with the man advantage...Ballard had two assists giving him 24 helpers on the season...Ricci picked up his 600th career point.
02/05 00:28:50 ET