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09/25/2013
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123T
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Coyle scores winner as Wild handle Blues

Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 12:26 AM

Charlie Coyle continued to make an argument for top-six ice time by scoring his third goal of the preseason to back a 33-save performance by Niklas Backstrom, as the Minnesota Wild defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-1, at Xcel Energy Center.

Coyle scored his team-best third preseason goal on a breakaway 38 seconds into the third to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead.

"I can't say anything negative about his camp," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "He's been outstanding. We know this kid's personality, the way he trains, his motivation, I was pretty confident we'd see this."

Torrey Mitchell stole the puck from goaltender Brian Elliott two minutes later and scored on a shorthanded wraparound for a 3-0 lead. Matt Cooke had the first goal for the Wild.

Jaden Schwartz spoiled Backstrom's shutout bid with a shorthanded goal midway through the final period and was among the few players to earn postgame praise from Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

"He was by far our best player today," Hitchcock said. "His competitive level, speed and energy is contagious."

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