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Coyotes
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Saprykin, Perreault score twice each in rare Coyotes' win

Nov 15, 2006 - 4:48 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Rare scoring outbursts by Oleg Saprykin and Yanic Perreault provided some life in a lean season for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Saprykin and Perreault scored two goals each and Curtis Joseph made 26 saves to lead the Coyotes to just their fifth win of the campaign, a 4-3 triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

Phoenix entered with just 34 goals in 17 games - 14th in the Western Conference - and just eight points. However, the Coyotes have split the first four contests of their five-game homestand and topped the Wild for the third time in five meetings.

"The last few games here has been battles," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We played really hard on Saturday (in a 2-1 loss to San Jose). I was disappointed we didn't get results because I thought our team played really hard.

"We have been way better at not taking silly penalties. You are always going to get penalties - that is part of the game - but we have been a lot smarter these days. On top of that, our penalty killing has gotten better."

Saprykin snapped a 3-3 tie with his second goal of the game and third of the season with 4:19 remaining by shooting his own rebound off goaltender Manny Fernandez's right shoulder and into the net.

"We tried to stay (focused) all the time, every shift," Saprykin said. "We have to stick with each other every shift. Tonight, we just tried to (put) the puck on the net. We know how those guys play so tight in a box. That was our goal tonight, to put the puck in there."

Joseph needed to make a glove save on Brian Rolston's breakaway with three seconds remaining to avoid overtime and raise his career record against the Wild to 8-1-1. He is just 3-8-0 this season.

Fernandez stopped 30 shots and lost for the fourth time in five outings for Minnesota, which has dropped five of its last seven contests.

"We had bad goals against," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I thought we worked hard but we had a couple of mistakes in our end and they were in the net. When we had the puck, we were not good with it."

After Minnesota took a 3-2 lead when Wes Walz slid the puck past Joseph's left pad at 7:00 mark of the third period, Perreault answered 43 seconds later with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that found the top left corner.

Phoenix tied the score, 2-2, with 7:29 left in the second period when Fernandez stopped Georges Laraque's wraparound attempt before Saprykin knocked the rebound past Fernandez's pads.

"There is no magic playing with me," Laraque said. "I am not going to go coast-to-coast with the puck. I play in the corner and down low. I try to find the open linemate. We are so confident now that we can create things offensively."

Minnesota jumped to a 2-0 lead before Perreault scored at 3:20 of the second session with a wrister of Ladislav Nagy's centering pass that got inside the left goalpost.

"In the first period, we had a lot of shots but didn't get any goals," Perreault said. "We knew we had to win the second and had to find a way to score some goals. When they scored, we came back and that showed some character."

Nagy assisted on both of Perreault's goals, giving him nine for the season, and Laraque twice set up Saprykin, raising his assist total to three.

Pavol Demitra opened the scoring at 1:01 of the first period and Mark Parrish netted his fourth at 1:12 of the second to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead.

"We are just not playing the way we can play," Rolston said. "We had four penalties in the second period again and we did not draw a penalty until the third. We have to play a little tighter and that goes for everybody."






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