MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild pick up a big road win in Phoenix
GLENDALE, AZ -- (SportsNetwork.com) -- The Minnesota Wild scored three times in the third period and defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-1, to remain in the top wild-card position in the Western Conference.
The Coyotes could have leapfrogged the Wild with a regulation win and carried a lead into the third period, but Minnesota got two goals from Zach Parise and another by Jared Spurgeon in the final 11:57.
"I think we can learn a lot from it, just the way we didn't get frustrated," Parise said. "We kept playing the same way and I think we got better as the game went on."
Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves in just the third win in the Wild's last nine games. Minnesota now has 87 points, three more than the Coyotes.
Thomas Greiss stopped 27 shots for Phoenix, which is only one point ahead of Dallas for the final playoff spot in the West. The Stars crept up after a 4-2 win in St. Louis.
Parise tied the game right after a faceoff. Mikko Koivu won the draw by kicking the puck to Parise, who beat Greiss from the right circle at 8:03.
Spurgeon gave the Wild the lead when he collected an errant pass off the side boards and fired a slap shot past Greiss' glove at 12:57.
Parise sealed the critical win by adding an empty-netter with 45 seconds remaining.
"There wasn't a lot of scoring chances either way, but you hate to see a lead slip away like that," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett.
The Coyotes struck on an early power play as Mikkel Boedker scored on a redirection from in front at the 3:16 of the first period.
ST. PAUL -- The University of Minnesota men's hockey team defeated Robert Morris 7-3 Saturday in a West Regional semifinal game at the Xcel Energy Center. They will play St. Cloud State, which defeated Notre Dame 4-3 in overtime in Saturday's other semifinal. The West Regional final will be at 6:30 p.m. today.
The West Regional winner will face North Dakota in the Frozen Four on April 10 in Philadelphia. North Dakota beat Ferris State 2-1 in overtime Saturday night in the Midwest Regional final.
Fort Myers, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Josmil Pinto hit a three-run homer in a five-run seventh inning, as Minnesota completed its Grapefruit League schedule with a 7-4 decision over Boston.
Adam Walker added a solo shot in the deciding frame and Josh Willingham also went deep for the Twins, who begin the 2014 regular season on Chicago's south side on Monday.
Casey Fien worked a scoreless sixth inning for the win in relief of Mike Pelfrey, who allowed five hits and four runs with three walks over four full frames.
Mike Napoli finished 2-for-2 with a double, solo homer and three RBI for the Red Sox, who begin the defense of their World Series title on Monday in Baltimore.
Xander Bogaerts knocked in a run for Boston, while starter Jake Peavy allowed a run on three hits with three strikeouts over his five-inning start.