Coyotes look to get back in win column in Minnesota
NOV 26, 2013 4:03p ET
With Zach Parise's long-term status unknown due to a foot injury, the Wild will look to avoid their first losing streak in more than a month as they host the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Parise, who leads Minnesota with 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists), left Monday's 3-0 loss at St. Louis with a bruised left foot after blocking a shot by the Blues' Alexander Steen in the first period.
Parise gingerly made his way to the bench and played three shifts in the second period before departing. He was walking with a noticeable limp after the game and the team described his injury as day-to-day.
"First off, when a guy like Zach gets hurt, it's always concerning because he's a top-notch player and brings an awful lot more than just scoring goals," coach Mike Yeo told the league's official website. "But I do think that we're a deep enough team and I think we have enough character that we should be able to battle through it."
The left wing has not missed a game since signing a $98 million, 13-year deal with Minnesota in July 2012.
The Wild (15-6-4) appeared to take a 1-0 lead when Parise deflected a shot behind Jaroslav Halak 30 seconds into Monday's loss, but officials ruled he tipped the puck with a high stick and the call was overturned upon review.
"There is no way my stick was over the crossbar," Parise said. "I'm 5-10 and I don't think the stick was over my waist. That's just the wrong call."
Yeo felt it set the tone for the whole game.
"It's fair to say (after that) we came unraveled," Yeo said after his team managed just 10 shots in the first two periods.
The Wild, who hadn't been shut out since a 2-0 loss to the Blues on April 11, are still off to the best 25-game start in team history. They haven't lost back-to-back games since dropping three straight Oct. 15-19.
Niklas Backstrom started a second straight game in place of Josh Harding, who remains day-to-day with a groin injury.
While Harding has won all 10 of his home games, Backstrom is 0-1-2 in four starts at home with a 3.30 goals-against average. Minnesota is looking to win seven consecutive home games for the first time since a franchise record-tying run of eight straight midway through the 2006-07 season.
Backstrom started 4-3 wins in the Wild's last two meetings with Phoenix, most recently March 27 as Mikko Koivu scored in overtime. That was just the Coyotes' second loss in their last seven games at Minnesota.
Phoenix (14-6-4) has followed a 3-1-0 stretch with three straight losses after a 4-2 defeat at Nashville on Monday. Mikkel Boedker and Tim Kennedy scored for the Coyotes, who trailed 3-0 after the opening period and gave up the first goal for a third straight game.
"I thought the two last periods, we were all right, but we can't keep getting behind like that," Boedker said. "It seems like every time they score, we start playing, which is not what we want to do."
Mike Smith has been in net for each of the last three losses, allowing 11 goals on 72 shots to fall to 12-5-4. He's given up at least three goals in seven of his last eight starts.
Minnesota plays four of its next five at home, where Koivu has three goals and five assists in his last four games.