NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Phoenix
(Tuesday, November 14th)
Final Score: Phoenix 4, Minnesota 3
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Oleg Saprykin's second goal of the contest was the game-winner as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Minnesota Wild, 4-3.
Yanic Perreault had two goals and Georges Laraque had two assists and a team- inspiring fight for the Coyotes, who had dropped four of five coming into the game.
"Well we're overjoyed with Georges' production," said Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky. "We said the last couple games he's been our strongest offensive opponent."
Curtis Joseph, who is 8-1-1 in 11 career appearances against the Wild, stopped 26 shots for Phoenix, which hosts Chicago on Thursday to conclude a five-game homestand.
Pavol Demitra and Mark Parrish each had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who have dropped two straight and four of their last five games.
Manny Fernandez stopped 30 shots in the loss.
"We had bad goals against," said Minnesota coach Jacques Laraque. "I thought we worked hard. We had a couple of mistakes in our end and they were in the net."
Just 43 seconds after the Wild took a 3-2 lead, Ladislav Nagy skated into the Minnesota zone and from the slot left a drop pass for Perreault, who rifled a one-timer into the right corner of the net to tie the game.
The Coyotes grabbed the lead when Laraque fired a pass from the right boards to Saprykin, who snapped a one-timer from the slot that Fernandez made a save on, but Saprykin got his own rebound and backhanded it into the right corner of the net with 4:19 to play.
Demitra had a golden opportunity to tie the game with just seconds left when he skated into the zone with a defender trailing him, but Joseph came up with a glove save on the wrist shot to help the Coyotes hang on for the win.
The Wild took a 1-0 lead just 1:01 into the game when a turnover at the blueline resulted in Demitra grabbing the puck and blasting a slap shot from the slot into the left corner of the net.
Phoenix peppered Fernandez with 15 shots in the opening frame, but he turned all of them aside.
Minnesota again scored quickly to grab a 2-0 lead in the second period. Demitra had the puck behind the net and backhanded a pass to Parrish at the low left circle. Parrish snapped a wrister from a sharp angle that went over the right shoulder of Joseph just 1:12 into the second.
Later in the period Laraque beat Derek Boogaard in a fight that sparked Phoenix.
Less than a minute after the fight, Nagy skated the puck into the Wild zone and from the left boards sent a pass to the slot, where Perreault rifled a wrister into the right corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
Laraque proved to be a spark again as he fought off a checker behind the net and attempted a wraparound. Fernandez stopped the shot, but the puck went right to the slot where Saprykin backhanded between the pads of Fernandez to tie the game with 7:29 left in the second.
"Coming back from a two-goal deficit against Minnesota is huge for us," said Laraque. "The last few games we didn't seem to have a break and that's what we needed."
The Wild briefly took a 3-2 lead in the third period when Kim Johnsson flew into the zone down the left side, fired a pass from behind the net into the slot and Wes Walz one-timed it into the net seven minutes in.
Minnesota wraps up its five-game road trip at Nashville on Thursday...Minnesota and Phoenix split four games last season...Neither team scored on the power play with Phoenix having five opportunities and Minnesota two...Nagy finished with two assists in the game...Demitra has four goals and nine assists on the season.
11/15 00:20:00 ET