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Power play unit ignites Wild’s 4-3 win in SO

By Jack Magruder Sports Xchange GLENDALE, Ariz. -- All Minnesota dormant road power play needed was a little desert air Saturday. The Wild scored two power-play goals in regulation and got shootout goals from left winger Zach Parise and center Mi...

By Jack Magruder

Sports Xchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. - All Minnesota dormant road power play needed was a little desert air Saturday.

The Wild scored two power-play goals in regulation and got shootout goals from left winger Zach Parise and center Mikko Koivu for a 4-3 overtime victory over the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.

Parise’s power-play goal at 14:07 of the third period sent the game into overtime, changing a trend. The Wild had been 1-for-41 in power-play chances on the road entering the game.

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“It couldn’t get much worse,” Parise said when asked if he believed it was just a matter of time before the power play came around.

“We were aggressive. We were getting into the zone cleaner than we had been and we were able to set up. The last couple of games had been a scramble just to get into the zone.”

Parise’s game-tying goal came when he converted a pass from defenseman Ryan Suter, after Wild center Charlie Coyle worked behind the net to keep the puck in the zone.

“Those plays go unnoticed,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “It’s all the little things, and that’s what our guys were doing.”

The power play was set up when Coyotes center Martin Hanzal was called for goaltender interference, a penalty that Arizona coach Dave Tippett disagreed with.

“I thought it was a soft call,” Tippett said. “He wasn’t even in the paint. Suter pushed him into it.”

Minnesota (16-11-1) also received goals from right winger Nino Niederreiter and left winger Jason Zucker. The Wild has split its last 10 games.

Left winger Lauri Korpikoski gave the Coyotes (10-17-3) a 3-2 lead in the final minute of the second period, but the Coyotes could not hold it while losing their ninth straight home game. It is their longest streak since relocating from Winnipeg before the 1996-97 season.

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Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and center Antoine Vermette had a goal and an assist and left winger Mikkel Boedker had two assists for the Coyotes, who have not won at home since Nov. 4.

“We took a couple of steps in the right direction here tonight,” Ekman-Larsson said. “We played a solid game, and that’s what we have to keep building on.”

Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom had 26 saves.

Coyotes goalie Devan Dubnyk had 32 saves in his third start in the last nine games in place of Mike Smith, who had a 2.12 goals-against average in 12 career games against Minnesota but was 1-8-2 this season. Dubnyk is 5-2-2.

Niederreiter scored on a power-play goal 2:48 into the game, and the Coyotes tied it on Ekman-Larsson’s power-play goal about a minute later.

Vermette redirected a shot by Ekman-Larrsson from the slot for a 2-1 lead at 1:40 of the second period before Zucker tied the score at 2 on a breakaway at 13:25 of the second period.

NOTES: Minnesota was short-handed defensively. D Marco Scandella did not play while serving the final game of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of New York Islanders F Brock Nelson on Tuesday, and D Keith Ballard was out because of concussion symptoms and multiple face fractures. The Wild also played without D Jared Spurgeon, who became sick to his stomach and was given IVs before the game, Wild coach Mike Yeo said. Wild D Ryan Suter, who led the league with an average ice time of 29 minutes, 17 seconds, coming into the game, played 33:47. D Jonas Brodin played 31:54. ... The Coyotes recalled C Alexandre Bolduc from Portland of the AHL on Friday, although he did not dress Saturday. He was leading the Pirates with nine goals and 20 points in 24 games this season. Bolduc, who had not played in the NHL since 2012-13 with Coyotes, has two goals in 46 NHL games. F Jordan Martinook was returned to Portland. ... Minnesota has won the last four games of the series. ... Coyotes C Martin Hanzal lost a tooth when he was struck in the face midway through the third period.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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