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The Wrap: Coyotes Eye Quick Turnaround Following Loss to Wild

Keller extends his goal-scoring streak to three games

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
Final Score: Wild 5, Coyotes 1
Record: 10-10-3
Standings: 6th-place, West Division

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The Coyotes fell to the Minnesota Wild by a 5-1 score Friday night at Gila River Arena.

The teams meet again Saturday following a quick, 22-hour turnaround, affording Arizona a chance for immediate action in an effort to earn a weekend split.

And do so with added incentive.

"I think the best thing we can do is flush (this game)," said Tyler Pitlick. "Forget about it, come back tomorrow. I guess you can remember it a little bit, have a little chip on your shoulder and bring it to them … and play hard."

Jordan Oesterle echoed Pitlick's "play hard" sentiment, pinning the Coyotes' Friday performance on inadequate 'compete.'

"It wasn't any X's and O's," said Oesterle. "I think it was just 'compete' level. We're not starting on time, we're waiting to be down 2-0 or 3-0 before we get started."

The Coyotes faced a 3-0 deficit after the first period and found themselves in a 4-0 hole after the second.

Clayton Keller scored the Coyotes' lone goal with 15:01 remaining in the third, catching a cross-ice pass from Oesterle and beating Kaapo Kahkonen from a tight angle.

Minnesota added in the final minutes to take a 5-1 lead, the night's final score.

Antti Raanta made his third straight start and stopped 22 of the 27 shots he faced.

Arizona will have a shot at retribution Saturday night, when the teams face-off at 5 p.m.

"We don't have time to sit about it," said Oesterle. "We get to flush it down the toilet right now. We need to get ready to focus on that game tomorrow, and everyone needs to be ready to bring their 'A' effort."

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The Game:

First Period: Minnesota scored three times to take a 3-0 lead: Mats Zuccarello at 4:27, Brad Hunt at 13:18, and Nick Bjugstad at 14:27.

Second Period: Jordan Greenway increased the Wild lead to 4-0 at 5:08.

Third Period: Clayton Keller cut the Coyotes' deficit to three, 4-1, at 4:59. Fiala scored at 18:46 to give the Wild a 5-1 lead.

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Statistics:

  • SOG: ARI - 25, MIN - 27
  • PP: ARI - 0/3, MIN - 0/4
  • Hits: ARI - 23, MIN - 13
  • Blocks: ARI - 6, MIN - 14

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Tocchet's Take: "Well you've got to be ready to go tomorrow, you can't sit back. You've got to get some rest. For guys that were good (tonight), hopefully they can have another good game for us tomorrow. For the guys that weren't good, they've got to go home, get a good rest and do something different. This home thing, I don't know what it is. Maybe the guys are driving in and spending too much time in the car coming in. There's definitely a lack of energy at home for some reason. We've got to put our finger on it."

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Jordan Oesterle said: "Obviously we knew we put ourselves in a pretty big hole after that first period. We were getting those chances early in the second to make a push, and who knows what would've happened if we got one, but we didn't. We just need to get back to work, simplify everything, put our work boots on, come back tomorrow and try to put 60 minutes together. If we work, we'll have a much better outcome and hopefully come away with a win."

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Notable:

  • Clayton Keller extended his goal-scoring streak to three games.
  • Jordan Oesterle became the third Coyote to hit double-digits in assists (10) assisting Clayton Keller's goal. Oesterle recorded 10 assists in 58 games last season and registered a career-high 14 assists in 2018-19.

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A Closer Look: Saturday will mark the final Coyotes home game until March 22. The Coyotes have played the most home games (16) of any team thus far, posting a 6-7-3 record at Gila River Arena. Arizona will play seven straight games on the road from March 8-20.

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Coyotes Lineup:

Forwards

Garland - Schmaltz - Kessel

Keller - Dvorak - Pitlick

Brassard - Larsson - Caggiula

Crouse - Chaput - Fischer

Defensemen

Chychrun - Goligoski

Ekman-Larsson - Lyubushkin

Oesterle - Hjalmarsson

Scratches

Hayden

Demers

Hill

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Roster Notes: Darcy Kuemper returned to the Coyotes lineup for the first time since February 24 and served as back up to Antti Raanta.

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What's Next: The Coyotes host the Minnesota Wild Saturday, 5 p.m., at Gila River Arena. 

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Photo of the Game: In the spotlight. Antti Raanta takes the ice prior to Friday's game.

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Highlights:

Video: Condensed Game: Wild @ Coyotes

Lead Photo Credit: Christian Petersen - Getty Images

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