NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 13th
(All times eastern)
Minnesota Wild (3-0-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (2-2-0), 10:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The unbeaten Minnesota Wild will hit the road for the first
time this season when they open a four-game trek against the Phoenix Coyotes
this evening from Glendale Arena.
Minnesota is 3-0 for the second straight year after winning its first six
contests last season. It downed Chicago in the season opener on October 4,
then posted victories over Columbus and Edmonton.
In Wednesday's 2-0 win over the Oilers at Xcel Energy Center, goaltender
Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season and
seventh of his career. Backstrom made 27 saves against Chicago last Thursday
before backstopping the Wild to a 3-2 win over Columbus on Saturday.
Pavol Demitra had a goal and an assist, while Brent Burns also scored in the
win over Edmonton. Demitra and Marian Gaborik both recorded their first points
of the young season, with Gaborik adding a pair of assists.
After Saturday's tilt in Phoenix, the Wild will visit Anaheim, Los Angeles and
St. Louis before returning home.
The Coyotes ended a two-game losing streak with Thursday's 6-3 win over the
Nashville Predators at Sommet Center. Fredrik Sjostrom scored two goals and
goaltender Alex Auld made 36 saves to earn the win in his first start of the
Martin Hanzal, Derek Morris and Radim Vrbata each added a goal and an assist
for the Coyotes, who recovered from a shutout loss in Columbus on Wednesday.
Steve Reinprecht also lit the lamp for Phoenix. The victory for the Coyotes
was the first in Nashville since October 22 of the 2002 campaign.
Phoenix will now serve as host for three straight games versus Minnesota,
Edmonton and Detroit.
Minnesota went 3-1 against the Coyotes last season and has won three straight
and five of the last six matchups. The Wild have won two of their last three
visits to Phoenix.
These two clubs are 2-2 with a tie in the last five meetings in Arizona.
10/13 10:34:57 ET