Newcomer Dubnyk stays hot, stops 25 shots as Wild beat Coyotes
After allowing Antione Vermette to score in the second period, Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk and his former teammate skated off the ice together during a timeout.
"He wanted me to give him a couple more," Dubnyk said. "I said, `Sorry, I can’t, maybe another time. Not right now.’"
Dubnyk kept his word and stonewalled his former team three days after being traded to the Wild, stopping 25 shots to lead Minnesota over the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 on Saturday night.
Jason Zucker and Zach Parise both scored their 16th goal of the season, and Charlie Coyle also scored for the Wild (20-19-5), who won their second straight after dropping seven of eight.
Vermette scored his 11th goal of the season at 13:47 of the second period on a rebound that hit the post. That ended Dubnyk’s shutout streak with Minnesota at 93 minutes, 26 seconds. The 28-year-old goalie stopped all 18 shots he faced in his Wild debut in Thursday’s win at Buffalo.
Playing his first home game for his new team on Saturday, Dubnyk received a loud ovation in pregame introductions, and again when he was named one of the game’s stars. After several games of sub-par play by Minnesota goalies, Wild fans weren’t the only ones feeling energized by Dubnyk’s strong play.
"He’s been great for us the last two games," Coyle said. "It’s nice to get to know him. He’s fit right in and played well for us. So we have a lot of confidence in him behind us."
Mike Smith had 30 saves for the Coyotes, who started their franchise-high, eight-game road trip by dropping their fourth in a row.
"It was just one of those games where, you know, you get in their power play and in the end it hits the linesman and it’s back in your net," Smith said. "It seems that’s the way it’s been trending, but going forward we have to realize no one is going to feel sorry for us. We have to make our own breaks."
Coyle gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead at 13:35 of the first period on a pretty pass from Nino Niederreiter, just as the Wild’s second power play expired. Niederreiter cut to the net and pushed the puck to a streaking Coyle, who beat Smith to the glove side.
Zucker scored on a breakaway in the second on a nice backhand that made it 2-0 and extended his career-best goals tally. Parise added an empty-net goal with less than a minute to play.
Minnesota outshot the Coyotes 33-26, although Arizona had 11 in the third period to the Wild’s five.
"I’m glad we pushed back a little bit in the third, I thought we played hard but we couldn’t get the one we needed," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
Dubnyk certainly played a big part in that.
"That’s a great group of guys that work hard over there," Dubnyk said of his former mates. "At some point they’re going to make a push, and they did in the third."
NOTES: Dubnyk allowed nine goals in his final two games with the Coyotes, both losses. … Coyotes captain Shane Doan missed his second game because of a lower-body injury. After the game, Tippett said it was possible Doan could play Sunday at Winnipeg. … Wild D Marco Scandella returned to the lineup after missing five games. Scandella took a puck to the head on Jan. 6 against San Jose. … The game concluded the ninth-annual Hockey Day Minnesota, which included three outdoor high school games and the University of Minnesota men’s team against Wisconsin. The Wild are 7-1-1 on Hockey Day Minnesota, including six-straight wins.