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The Wrap: Shots Don't Translate for Coyotes in Minnesota

Arizona suffers its fourth shutout loss of the season

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes
Final Score: Wild 3, Coyotes 0
Record: 12-13-4
Standings: 6th-place, West Division

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The Coyotes out-shot the Minnesota Wild 31-26 Tuesday night but their scoring struggles continued in a 3-0 loss at Xcel Energy Center.

Arizona is 1-3-1 on its current seven-game road trip, which continues Friday in Anaheim.

"We had a few chances here and there," said head coach Rick Tocchet. "We had more shots than we usually get. A lot of guys are stressed out. When you don't score, we always talk about simplifying, and we've got to simplify our game."

The Wild opened the scoring in the opening minutes to take an early 1-0 lead.

Conor Garland missed the latter half of the first period after taking an elbow to the head from Minnesota's Carson Soucy. Soucy was assessed a five-minute major. Garland would later return.

Lawson Crouse responded to the hit moments after Soucy exited the penalty box, instigating a fight in front of the Wild bench. Both players were penalized with fighting majors. Crouse was assessed a game misconduct and did not play the final 44:02.

"That shows a lot of character from Crouser," Christian Fischer said. "He's done that for as long as he's been here. He's always a guy you can count on for our team, and he's not afraid. That shows a lot of guts on his part and I think that's good for our team. Good for Crouser, and I know it goes a long way in the locker room."

Adin Hill made 13 saves in the second period - including a flurry of stops late in the frame -- to keep the Coyotes deficit at one.

Minnesota added two goals in the third period.

The Coyotes were unable to convert on four power play opportunities, including a five-minute power play in the first period and 1:09 worth of 5-on-3 in the third period. Arizona killed all three of its penalties.

Hill finished the game with 23 saves.

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The Game:

First Period: Ryan Hartman opened the scoring 1:37 into the game to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

Second Period: No scoring.

Third Period: Mats Zuccarello (2:07) and Jared Spurgeon (13:57) increased Minnesota's lead to 3-0.

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Statistics:

SOG: ARI - 31, MIN - 26

PP: ARI - 0/4, MIN - 0/3

Hits: ARI - 9, MIN - 12

Blocks: ARI - 5, MIN - 13

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Tocchet's Take: "Everybody's stressed when you don't score goals. We've had seven or eight breakaways in three games, and we haven't scored. You get one, maybe it loosens some guys up. We're getting tested. People are testing us right now. Adversity is testing us. You've just got to come out of it. Everybody in their career has to go through adversity, and this is some hitting our team right now."

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Christian Fischer said: "It's no secret we're having a hard time just getting one (goal) past opposing teams right now. When that happens, our details and our game have to be so solid. Who cares if you're scoring seven goals or one goal, we need to win games, and right now we're in the dumps. No one feels bad for themselves. We need to stop this right now, otherwise we're going to get ourselves in a hole, it's pretty simple. We need to work out way out." 

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Notable:

  • Clayton Keller logged a personal, season-high 21:03 TOI and co-led the Coyotes with four shots.
  • Jakob Chychrun logged a team-high 25:50 TOI and leads the Coyotes in minutes played per game this season, averaging 23:14.
  • Adin Hill has allowed three goals or less in 16 of his previous 17 appearances.
  • Lawson Crouse totaled 27 penalty minutes, the most by a Coyote since Daniel Carcillo totaled 27 PIM on Dec. 20, 2007.

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A Closer Look: The Coyotes were perfect on the penalty kill (3-for-3) and maintain the best road penalty kill in the NHL. Arizona has killed 47 of its 52 road penalties, a 90.4 percent success rate.

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Coyotes Lineup:

Forwards

Keller - Schmaltz - Pitlick

Crouse - Dvorak - Kessel

Caggiula - Brassard - Garland

Fischer - Larsson - Fasching

Defensemen

Ekman-Larsson - Demers

Chychrun - Goligoski

Hjalmarsson - Lyubushkin

Scratches

Hayden

Oesterle

Raanta

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Roster Notes: Antti Raanta is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and did not dress. Ivan Prosvetov served as back-up to Adin Hill. Niklas Hjalmarsson returned to the lineup following a one-game absence due to an upper-body injury. Hudson Fasching was recalled from the taxi squad and appeared in his second game of the season.

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What's Next: The Coyotes travel to Anaheim Wednesday and will not practice. They play the Ducks Thursday, 7 p.m., at Honda Center.

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Photo of the Game: Close call. Clayton Keller is denied by Kaapo Kahkonen on a breakaway chance in the second period.

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Highlights:

Video: Condensed Game: Coyotes @ Wild

Lead Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn - NHLI via Getty Images

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