Wild lose another close contestMinnesota Sports - Radim Vrbata had a goal and an assist, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 24 saves in the Phoenix Coyotes’ 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
From the Duluth News-Tribune.com
ST. PAUL — Radim Vrbata had a goal and an assist, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 24 saves in the Phoenix Coyotes’ 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
The Wild’s Antti Miettinen tied it at 2 with 4:58 to play, but Phoenix countered 19 seconds later, with Scotty Upshall blasting in the rebound of Keith Yandle’s shot.
James Vandermeer also scored for Phoenix.
Andrew Brunette added a goal for the Wild, 0-2-2 in their past four games. Minnesota was outshot for long stretches of the game and repeatedly frustrated by Bryzgalov.
The teams emerged from the first period scoreless, despite the Coyotes repeatedly pouncing on Wild giveaways and outshooting Minnesota 15-5.
The Coyotes scored on their 16th shot when Vrbata’s wrister eluded a crowd in front of Minnesota’s Nicklas Backstrom and sailed over the line before the goalie could get a look at the puck. It was Vrbata’s sixth goal of the season.
The goal early in the second period came on a controversial Phoenix power play. In the final seconds of the opening period, Minnesota’s Owen Nolan was whistled for slashing Sami Lepisto of the Coyotes. Replays showed Nolan raised his stick, but did not make contact with Lepisto, just as the Phoenix player’s stick snapped. Fans serenaded the officials with boos when replays of the call were shown, and when Vrbata scored on the ensuing man-advantage.
The Wild finally solved Bryzgalov early in the third period. The goalie deflected Miettinen’s close-range pass, but could not control the puck, leaving it free for Brunette to backhand into the net. It was the team-leading eighth goal of the season for Brunette, who had not scored in the Wild’s previous nine games.
Vrbata set up Vandermeer’s goal that gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead, but Miettinen knotted the score again.
Backstrom finished with 29 saves for the Wild