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Coyotes-Wild Preview @NHLdotcom
Coyotes-Wild Preview

GAME: Phoenix Coyotes (24-23-2) at Minnesota Wild (23-21-4).

TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.

Maybe the 15th time will be the charm for the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild, winners of three straight games, try to achieve the first four-game winning streak in franchise history when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Minnesota has had 14 other three-game winning streaks in its five seasons, but has never extended the run to four.

"We can't get overexcited about a three-game streak," center Wes Walz said. "It seems like whenever we have a little bit of success for an extended period, we seem to fall back."

Walz opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period of Sunday night's 3-2 victory at Chicago. Brian Rolston added a pair of goals in the second period, snapping a personal seven-game scoring drought.

"Earlier in my career I might have panicked a little bit or started squeezing the stick," said Rolston, who has three multi-goal games this season. "But I know if I continue to work hard, pucks will go in for you."

Manny Fernandez made 20 saves and lowered his goals-against average to 2.02. Fernandez is the NHL's only goaltender with 10 or more starts who has not allowed more than three goals in a game this season.

He has struggled at home against Phoenix, going 0-2-1 in four games against the Coyotes at the Xcel Energy Center.

Phoenix has won its last four visits to Minnesota. The Wild last won a home game against the Coyotes on Jan. 10, 2003.

The Coyotes opened their three-game road trip with a 4-1 loss Monday to Pacific Division-leading Dallas, just their second loss in six games.

Phoenix managed only 18 shots on goal and didn't get a shot off in a two-man advantage in the second period.

"We didn't take advantage of a 5-on-3 against a good team," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We have to at least get a shot on net. That was pathetic."

The Coyotes went 0-for-5 on the power play on Monday and are scoreless in 14 opportunities with the man advantage in their last two games.

Dave Scatchard scored the long goal for Phoenix, but Curtis Joseph gave up four unanswered tallies.

STANDINGS: Coyotes - 50 points, 4th place (tied), 14 PB, Pacific Division. Wild - 50 points, 5th place, 13 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Ladislav Nagy, Shane Doan and Mike Comrie, 15 goals; Nagy, 37 assists and 52 points; Sean O'Donnell, 108 PIM. Wild - Rolston, 20 goals, 28 assists and 48 points; Derek Boogaard, 99 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Coyotes - Power play: 18.3 percent (60 for 328), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80 percent (248 for 310), 25th. Wild - Power play: 18.2 percent (49 for 270), 14th. Penalty killing: 88.8 percent (231 for 260), 1st.

GOALTENDERS: Coyotes - Joseph (19-13-0, 2 SO, 2.74 GAA); Brian Boucher (3-5-0, 0, 4.01). Wild - Fernandez (18-7-3, 1, 2.02); Dwayne Roloson (5-14-1, 1, 2.99).

SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 8; Coyotes, 4-2. At St. Paul, Minn., Joseph made 26 saves for his 403rd career victory, tying Grant Fuhr for eighth on the all-time list. Comrie scored two goals for Phoenix.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 11-12-1 on the road; Wild - 14-10-1 at home.

Associated Press
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