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Final Look: Coyotes Drop Close Contest to Minnesota

Arizona builds early lead with a fast start on Saturday night, but can't counter Minnesota's second-half push

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES DROP CLOSE CONTEST

The Coyotes couldn't counter the Minnesota Wild's comeback efforts Saturday night at Gila River Arena, falling by a 4-3 score despite holding two separate two-goal leads.

The team has now dropped three consecutive games (0-2-1) for the first time all season.

Their start was solid, to say the least.

Michael Grabner , with a little help from a friendly bounce, was credited with his fifth goal of the season when a pass from Aaron Ness  caromed off his skate and into the net to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 11:10 remaining in the first period. Ness' assist was his first in a Coyotes uniform.

Jakob Chychrun doubled the Coyotes' lead less than four minutes later, connecting on a one-timer from the high slot upon being set up by a Nick Schmaltz feed, upping Arizona's advantage to 2-0 with 7:20 left in the opening frame.

Minnesota responded with a power play goal early in the second period to cut the Coyotes' lead in half, 2-1.

Vinnie Hinostroza reclaimed a two-goal lead for Arizona with 11:40 to play in the second, depositing a wrist shot from the left boards after gaining Minnesota territory following a well-executed neutral zone transition.

The Wild scored twice in the final half of the second period to tie the score, 3-3, heading into the third.

The Coyotes out-shot the Wild 14-5 in the final frame, but Minnesota managed to take its first lead of the night, 4-3, with 15:06 left in regulation, the game's eventual final score.

"We got a little sloppy on a couple of their goals," said Brad Richardson . "We fell asleep, had some turnovers, and they were just kind of sitting back waiting for it, so we played right into their hands a couple of times. We gave them a few goals."

Richardson played 10:55 in his return to the lineup after missing seven games due to injury, registering two shots, four hits, and a plus-two rating.

"It was nice, it had been a while, it felt good to get out there and help and try to contribute," Richardson added. "I thought I was alright, but I'd like to get on the scoreboard here, I had some good chances."

Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves in the loss.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #17: ARIZONA (3) vs. MINNESOTA (4)

  • SOG: ARI - 35, MIN - 24
  • PP: ARI - 0/3, MIN - 1/1

ARIZONA SCORING:

MINNESOTA SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"We've got to figure it out, we can't let that happen. Every point matters, and right now we've got to get back on track. I think if you told us two-three weeks ago that we had a 3-1 lead and we were going to lose in regulation, I don't think we would have believed you, so we've got to get back to the basics and play our style of hockey."

Michael Grabner, on the game and moving forward as a team

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes trailing, 4-3, with 3:17 to remaining in the third period.

Darcy Kuemper gave the Coyotes a fighting chance in the waning moments of regulation, stopping Kevin Fiala on a rush as the Wild forward fled past coverage to drive in alone.

Fiala looked to capitalize with a move to his backhand, but Kuemper got a glove on the shot to keep the Coyotes to within a goal with three minutes left to play.

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes leading, 2-1, with 11:40 remaining in the second period.

Vinnie Hinostroza scored his second goal in three games, and also extended his point streak to three games, when he gave the Coyotes a 3-1 lead just prior to the midway mark of the second period.

After receiving a pass from Jordan Oesterle as the two criss-crossed in the neutral zone, Hinostroza drove wide left, settled down, and used Matt Dumba as a screen to deposit a seeing-eye wrist shot to the top right corner, shooting through the defenseman's legs and past the glove of Devan Dubnyk.

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PHOTO FINISH

Donning honorary attire for Military Appreciation Night and for the upcoming Veterans Day holiday on Monday, Coyotes players wore specialty uniforms during warm-ups on Saturday night at Gila River Arena, which were auctioned off after the game to benefit the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. (Photo Credit: Norm Hall / Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Norm Hall - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage - Fox Sports Arizona

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