Wild Breakaway: Minnesota starts second half with loss to Coyotes
TEMPE, Ariz. — Jakob Chychrun had two goals, Jack McBain scored the tie-breaking goal on a breakaway with seven minutes remaining and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Monday night.
McBain put a back-hander past Marc-Andre Fleury moments after the Coyotes killed off an abbreviated 55-second power play. Karel Vejmelka had 33 saves for his career-best third straight victory.
“It wasn’t too pretty,” McBain said. “The puck was rolling and I just tried to do what I could to get it up and it ended up going in.”
McBain skated in alone after breaking out of his own zone on a pass from Christian Fischer.
“The worst was, he didn’t have an edge on his skate,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “He said when he came back, ‘I could not skate.’ Pretty good for a guy who couldn’t skate."
Jonas Brodin gave the Wild a 2-1 lead 1:40 into the third period on a wrist shot from the left circle through a screen in front before Chychrun tied it at 2-2 with his second goal of the game at 9:35.
“It was a huge two points, but they’re gone,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “We have to regroup and put ourselves in a position where we adjust and correct.”
Kirill Kaprizov also scored for the Wild and Fleury had 33 saves for the Wild, who had won two straight and five of eight. The Coyotes are 4-3-1 in their last eight games.
“Definitely disappointing,” Fleury said. “We all know it is going to be a tight race from now on until the end of the season. Those are points that we need to have, especially when you have the lead in the third.”
The Coyotes killed off a two-minute penalty with 2:34 left in the game, and the Wild put six skaters on the ice for the final 1:13.
“Those are key moments in games,” Chychrun said. “We did a good job of fighting it off.”
Kaprizov broke the scoreless tie with his 28th goal at 3:39 of the second period. He took a cross-ice pass from Mats Zuccarello and hit an open side for a 1-0 lead. Vejmelka, who had shutouts in his last two starts, extended his scoreless streak to 114:11 before the goal.
“I don’t think we should look for excuses,” Zucarello said. “I think we should go player by player and say what can we do better. We’re in the race here. We need to win.”
Each team played its first game in nine days, and it showed early in a scoreless first period. The Coyotes had 14 of the 19 shots in the period and the best chances. Fleury made point-blank saves on Hayton nine minutes into the game and on Lawson Crouse with three minutes remaining in the period.
“I felt we were as ready as we could be,” Tourigny said. “But what does that mean? You need to play the game. I have a lot of respect for Minny. They are physical. They are competitive. Even when we were trailing, we knew that was not the end of it. We stayed with it and found a way.”
NOTES: Fleury, who still wears gold pads, glove and blocker, played in his 971st game, tying Terry Sawchuk for the fourth-most appearances by a goaltender in NHL history. Fleury has started four straight. … The Coyotes played their only home game in 18 days and will take a 16-game road winless streak into a three-game trip to Chicago, St. Louis and Nashville that begins Friday. … Coyotes F Jean-Sebastien Dea was recalled from Tucson of the American Hockey League and F Dylan Guenther was assigned to Seattle of the Western Hockey League. … Coyotes F Liam O’Brien (hand) has returned to practice but did not play, missing his 23rd straight game. … The Wild scratched D Alex Goligoski and F Mason Shaw.
Wild: At Dallas on Wednesday.
Coyotes: At Chicago on Friday.