GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) — A couple of quick goals helped the
Phoenix Coyotes forget about their struggles against the
Defenseman Zbynek Michalek and Olli Jokinen scored in the final
30 seconds of the second period and the Coyotes went on to post
a 3-1 victory over the Wild on Thursday.
Joakim Lindstrom netted his first goal of the season and Ilya
Bryzgalov made 30 saves for the Coyotes, who snapped a nine-game
losing streak to the Wild. Phoenix had not defeated Minnesota
since November 14, 2006.
“You can’t lose forever,” Bryzgalov said. “We finally beat this
team, and maybe this is a turning point in our matchups.”
Antti Miettinen tallied and Niklas Backstrom turned aside 28
shots for the Wild, who have lost three in a row.
“You’ve got to stay positive and keep working,” Minnesota coach
Jacques Lemaire said. “We are looking to get more shots, talked
about getting more shots, getting the pucks at the net and
getting tips. Tonight, I thought our power play did fine. The
only thing is, we didn’t score.”
Michalek opened the scoring with 27 seconds left in the middle
session and the Coyotes refused to settle for one as Jokinen
doubled the advantage with 1.9 seconds remaining in the period.
“It was a tremendous shot taken by Michalek to make it 1-0, and
that got our guys fired up,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.
“Then we scored immediately after. It was huge to come out with
a two-goal lead. That’s twice in two nights we had scored in
the last 10 seconds.
“Tonight, as good of a team as they are and as tough as it is to
score against that team, the goal was a huge goal to give us a
After taking a pass from captain Shane Doan at the left point,
Michalek launched a slap shot through a screen and past
Backstrom on the stick side. It was Michalek’s second goal of
Phoenix then capitalized on a turnover and Peter Mueller led a
2-on-1 rush. Mueller threaded a perfect pass to Jokinen, who
fired a quick wrist shot past Backstrom less than two seconds
before the second intermission.
“That was a Hall-of-Fame pass from Mueller,” Jokinen said. “It
was a really good play. He forced the guy to make a move and
they turned the puck over, and he made a world-class pass to set
me up. It was easy to put in.”
“That was a pretty striking end to the second period,” Miettinen
said. “I think we were controlling the game pretty well until
Lindstrom extended the advantage to 3-0 at 4:41 of the third
period, deflecting Steven Reinprecht’s pass into the top portion
of the net.
Reinprecht collected two assists for the Coyotes, who have won
six of their last nine games.