Coyotes 6, Wild 4
Dave Tippett was searching for positives after watching his Phoenix Coyotes nearly squander a four-goal lead in the final 10 minutes against Minnesota on Saturday night.
``Let's take all the negatives and put them over there,'' Tippett said after Phoenix's 6-4 victory over the Wild. ``I've been trying to do that since the game ended. Let's talk about the bright and sunny stuff.''
Into that category fell Petr Prucha, who scored twice, and Ed Jovanovski, who had a career-best four assists in his return from a two-game suspension.
``Phenomenal,'' Tippett said about Jovanovski. ``He just eats up so many minutes. The best thing I can say about him is your team loves him on the ice and the other team hates him on the ice.''
Shane Doan snapped a four-game scoreless streak with a goal and an assist, and Adrian Aucoin, Vernon Fiddler also scored for the Coyotes, who have won two straight after going winless in five games.
``I'm sure neither coach is overly impressed with the defense in the game but it's nice to win,'' Doan said. ``We're making it a little more difficult than we have to on ourselves.''
Guillarme Latendresse had his first career hat trick, and Owen Nolan added a goal and an assist for the Wild, who have lost two straight after posting four straight wins for second time this season.
``I don't have a reason why,'' Minnesota assistant captain Greg Zanon said. ``We definitely can play when we want to. We've got to want to. We knew what to expect.''
Prucha and Fiddler scored 78 seconds apart to give the Coyotes a 5-1 lead with 10:10 to go.
Then the Wild stormed back, much as they did a week ago in erasing a four-goal third-period deficit against Chicago.
``We made it interesting, that's for sure,'' Jovanovski said.
Latendresse scored his second goal with 9:24 to go on a redirection in front for the Wild's first power-play goal in their last five games against Phoenix.
Nolan made it 5-3 just 51 seconds later when he bounced a shot off Ilya Bryzgalov's right leg seconds after Scottie Upshall was whistled for high-sticking.
``We're trying to entertain the fans and keep them in the building,'' Tippett said. ``That's why we're taking all the penalties. It's good for the fans but bad for the coach.''
Latendresse completed his hat trick on a wrist shot from the inside of the left circle to cut Phoenix's lead to 5-4 with 5:17 remaining.
``What happened against Chicago isn't going to happen every night,'' Latendresse said. ``If we want to be on the playoffs we need these two points.''
Vrbata scored with a minute remaining to cap the seven-goal period.
``We got what we deserved,'' said Wild coach Todd Richards. ``A handful of guys were working and a handful of guys were trying to make a difference. You're not going to win games by missing seven, eight, nine guys.''
Prucha took a pass from Martin Hanzal just above the inside hashes and beat Niklas Backstrom on a wrist shot for a 1-0 Phoenix lead at 7:45 of the first period.
Doan made it 2-0 at 10:05 of the period, one-timing a pass from Daniel Winnik past Backstrom from the inside of the right faceoff circle.
Latendresse scored his first on a one-timer off a pass from Kyle Broziak to pull the Wild within 2-1 at 17:35 of the second period.
Aucoin extended Phoenix's lead to 3-1 at 1:59 of the third when his hard shot from the point eluded Backstrom with help from a screen by Upshall.
NOTES: Bryzgalov was credited with his first assist of the season on Vrbata's goal. ... Latendresse has six goals and four assists in his last five games. ... Aucoin played in his 900th NHL game. ... Phoenix has three straight regulation wins at home against Minnesota for the first time in the series history.