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Final Look: Coyotes Come Up Short in High-Scoring Affair

The teams combined for seven goals in the third period; nine players registered a point for Arizona

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES COME UP SHORT IN HIGH-SCORING AFFAIR

There were no shortage of goals scored Thursday night at Gila River Arena as the Coyotes came up on the short end of an offensive affair, falling 8-5 to the Minnesota Wild.

The Coyotes claimed a one-goal lead early on.

That lead came courtesy Phil Kessel , who finished from the low slot when he touched home a Taylor Hall pass to complete a play initiated by a Christian Dvorak forecheck, giving the Coyotes a 1-0 advantage with 3:46 left in the opening frame.

Minnesota scored twice in the opening minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead.

Jakob Chychrun connected for a power play goal just prior to the game's midway mark, finding the back of the net with a head-up short-side wrist shot from the top of the left circle to tie the game, 2-2, with 10:14 remaining in the second period.

The Wild added two more goals in the latter stages of the second period to take a 4-2 lead into the final period of play.

The Coyotes buried back-to-back to open the third to once again tie the game, 4-4.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson batted down a Wild clearing attempt from mid-air, then turned and fired a slap shot that found its way through Devan Dubnyk's five hole, getting Arizona back to within a goal, 4-3, with 19:12 remaining.

Chychrun followed with his second tally of the night shortly thereafter, depositing his own blocked shot from the high slot to even the score, 4-4, with 16:38 left to play.

Minnesota responded to score twice in :35 seconds to take a 6-4 lead with 15:03 left on the clock.

Clayton Keller got the Coyotes back to within a goal :26 seconds after Minnesota scored its sixth goal, scanning the high slot to wrist home a perfectly placed shot with 14:37 left to play, cutting the Wild's lead to 6-5.

Minnesota answered with two more goals, including an empty-netter, to tally up the night's eventual final score, 8-5.

Darcy Kuemper left the game with an injury with 3:08 left in regulation after sticking out his right pad to deny a Ryan Hartman shot. He did not return.

Nine different players registered a point for the Coyotes; Nick Schmaltz led the team with three assists. Dvorak won a career-high 20 face-offs.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #37: ARIZONA (5) vs. MINNESOTA (8)

  • SOG: ARI - 40, MIN - 33
  • PP: ARI - 2/4, MIN - 0/2

ARIZONA SCORING:

MINNESOTA SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"It's frustrating, but it's a good lesson for us. It's December, it's a good lesson for this hockey club."

Rick Tocchet, on Thursday's 8-5 loss

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Tie game, 0-0, with 3:46 remaining in the first period

The chemistry between Taylor Hall and Phil Kessel has been displayed through the first two games they've played together on the Coyotes' top line.

That synchronized play showed itself in the result of a late first period goal Thursday night, initiated by an aggressive Christian Dvorak forecheck.

After retrieving behind Minnesota's net, Dvorak swung to Hall, who instead of pulling the trigger from a relatively high-percentage area, read Kessel's slot positioning as the more favorable option for the shot.

Hall crossed for Kessel, who found the back of the net to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 3:46 left in the opening frame.

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes trailing, 6-4, with 14:37 remaining in the third period.

A bizarre start to the third period saw the teams combine for five goals in a 4:35 span.

The last of those goals came off the stick of Clayton Keller, who got the Coyotes back to within a goal with just under 15 minutes to play in regulation, circling to the top of the offensive zone after corralling a Nick Schmaltz feed down low.

Keller, with patience, waited out a breakdown in Minnesota coverage as he collapsed a shot-blocker with an extra one-two move, finally releasing an against-the-grain wrist shot to beat Devan Dubnyk high to the glove side.

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PHOTO FINISH

Welcome home. Taylor Hall, to the left of teammates Phil Kessel, Christian Dvorak, Ilya Lyubushkin , and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, stands on the blue-line during the national anthem ahead of his home debut on Thursday night at Gila River Arena. (Photo Credit: Norm Hall - NHLI via Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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