With help from newcomer Devan Dubnyk, the Minnesota Wild ended their longest skid of the season.
As they look to win consecutive games for the first time in almost two months Saturday night at home, Dubnyk could be in net to face the same Arizona Coyotes team that traded him this week.
With Darcy Kuemper recovering from a lower-body injury suffered last week and backup Niklas Backstrom 0-5-2 with a 4.12 goals-against average in his last eight games, Minnesota (19-19-5) acquired Dubnyk from Arizona for a third-round pick Wednesday.
The sixth-year netminder wasted no time endearing himself to his new teammates while hardly being tested during an 18-save performance in Thursday’s 7-0 win at Buffalo. The victory snapped an 0-5-1 slide during which the reeling Wild were outscored 29-10.
"We just needed a win," forward Jason Pominville, who had three assists, told the Wild’s official website. "We just needed to find a way to win. (Dubnyk) steps in and plays well for us – nice of him to not give up anything and get his confidence where it needs to be.
"But I think most important it was to go out there and trust our system, trust our game, and any way we can, find a way to win."
Last season, the Wild snapped a six-game slide with a victory over Buffalo that began a 23-10-7 run which helped them reach the playoffs. Following the most-lopsided victory in team history, Minnesota is just trying to win back-to-back contests for the first time since a season-high four-game run Nov. 13-20.
"Hopefully this is a building block," embattled coach Mike Yeo said.
Coming off his 10th career shutout, Dubnyk might get the call against the Coyotes (16-23-4), with whom he went 9-5-2 with a 2.72 GAA as Mike Smith’s backup this season.
"Just go out and be a presence for (the Wild) and make them comfortable back there," Dubnyk said.
The Wild have won four straight and six of seven versus Arizona, which managed 26 shots against Kuemper in a 2-0 defeat at Minnesota on Oct. 23.
Pominville, who has a goal with seven assists in six games, scored in that contest and had two assists in a 4-3 shootout win at Arizona on Dec. 13.
Outscored 12-4 during their current three-game losing streak, the Coyotes open an eight-game trip looking to bounce back from Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Calgary. The Flames broke open a tie game with three goals in the third period.
Arizona has been outscored 6-0 in the final period in the last three contests, and its minus-30 goal differential (55-25) in the third this season is the worst in the NHL.
Mikkel Boedker has recorded five of his team-leading 14 goals during a career-high four-game goal streak.
"It’s nice to score, but it’s not worth talking about one person when you’re losing," he told the Coyotes’ official website. "It just happens to fall on my stick right now and it’s going in the back of the net."
Boedker has three goals and two assists in his last five games versus Minnesota.
It’s uncertain if Arizona captain Shane Doan will miss a second straight contest with a lower-body injury.
Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter will serve the last of a two-game suspension for elbowing Pittsburgh’s Steve Downie in Tuesday’s 7-2 loss.