for this game

Coyotes, Wild fight for two points in St. Paul

Oct 23, 2014 - 2:57 PM ( - The Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild will both be aiming to avoid a third straight loss on Thursday night when the two clubs clash at Xcel Energy Center.

The Coyotes split a four-game homestand to begin the season, losing the finale by a 6-1 score to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. They then hit the road for Tuesday's meeting with Nashville and fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Predators.

Martin Erat's power-play goal at 7:42 of the third period put Arizona in front, but Nashville tied the game just 21 seconds later and won it on Ryan Ellis' fourth-round shootout tally.

Keith Yandle also scored on the power play, Rob Klinkhammer tallied at even strength and Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves in his second start of the season.

"Our whole team competed," said Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett. "We had opportunities to get a win but unfortunately we didn't."

Tippett will go back to the struggling Mike Smith in net tonight. Smith is 1-2-0 with a 5.34 goals against average and .822 save percentage in three starts this season, and 4-6-1 lifetime versus the Wild with a 2.13 GAA, .912 save percentage and two shutouts in 11 meetings with nine starts.

Arizona center Martin Hanzal did not play on Tuesday due to a lower-body injury and will sit out tonight as well.

Though the Coyotes have lost four of their last five to the Wild overall, they are 6-0-2 in their last eight trips to Minnesota.

The Wild look to reverse that trend tonight in just their second home game of the season and fifth contest overall. They have been out of action since wrapping a three-game swing with Sunday's 2-1 setback to the Los Angeles Kings.

Making his first start since January, Niklas Backstrom made 14 saves on 16 shots faced, while Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick came up with 40 saves.

"We played well, but (Quick) just had one of those games again where he kind of shut it down," said Wild forward Zach Parise.

Matt Cooke recorded the lone goal for the Wild, who suffered their second straight 2-1 loss after outscoring Colorado 8-0 over a pair of shutout wins to begin the campaign. That included a 5-0 victory at home on Oct. 9 in the season opener.

Darcy Kuemper expects to start tonight for the Wild and has never before faced the Coyotes, but comes in with a lifetime record of 9-3-2 at Xcel Energy Center with a 1.80 GAA and .933 save percentage.

Wild center Charlie Coyle hits the ice tonight for the first time since inking a five-year contract extension on Wednesday. The 22-year-old had 12 goals and 30 points in 70 games last season and has posted a pair of points over four games this campaign.

  • ARIZONA: 0

    Oct 23 10:38 PM
  • 50
    RUWTbot Added 6 roots

    Coyotes 0, Wild 2  3rd - 3:38Oct 23 10:30 PM
  • 44
    RUWTbot Added 5 roots

    Coyotes 0, Wild 2  3rd - 5:25Oct 23 10:26 PM
  • 39
    RUWTbot Added 10 roots

    Coyotes 0, Wild 2  3rd - 7:30Oct 23 10:21 PM

  • ARIZONA: 0
    End of 2nd

    Oct 23 9:41 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Jason Pominville (2), from Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon at 5:27.

    Coyotes 0, Wild 2  2nd - 14:33Oct 23 9:11 PM

  • Minnesota Goal - Charlie Coyle (2), at 2:53.

    Coyotes 0, Wild 1  2nd - 17:07Oct 23 9:05 PM
  • 29
    Awapuhi Added 5 roots

    Coyotes 0, Wild 0  End of 1stOct 23 8:42 PM

  • ARIZONA: 0
    End of 1st

    Oct 23 8:42 PM

  • ARIZONA: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Oct 23 8:09 PM
  • 24
    RUWTbot Added 24 roots

    Coyotes vs. WildJun 23 8:49 AM