GLENDALE, Ariz. - Instead of losing his temper, Minnesota winger Eric Belanger got even with Phoenix by scoring the winning goal.
After being struck in the face and losing a tooth, Belanger scored a short-handed goal late in the third period and the Minnesota Wild rallied to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Saturday night.
"The best way to get back is to score the winning goal," Belanger said. "I was upset with what happened, and it was a cheap shot. We have three games against them, so we'll see what will happen."
Belanger knocked in the rebound from a Stephane Veilleux backhander at 16:45. That came just more than three minutes after Mikko Koivu tied the game for Minnesota with six minutes, 20 seconds remaining.
Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, who allowed just one goal in his previous three starts this season, surrendered two first-period goals, but none thereafter. He had 27 saves.
"When I gave up those goals, I felt I let the team down," Backstrom said. "Between the second and third periods, we talked about the situation, and had all the confidence we would come back."
Phoenix goalie Alex Auld stopped 23 shots.
The Wild scored first when Marian Gaborik converted a perfect centring pass from Pavol Demitra at 4:09 of the opening period.
Then, Daniel Carcillo struck twice for Phoenix.
First on the power play, he scored on a scramble in front of the goal at 14:51 of the first period. Just more than two minutes later, Carcillo skated into a pass from Niko Kapanen and beat Backstrom with a slap shot from the right face-off circle.
The two tallies marked the first multigoal game for Carcillo in his two-year NHL career.
"We need to be more disciplined in the third period," he said. "We took it to them in the first two periods, but obviously we didn't get the result we wanted."
The effort also marked the second straight multiple goal game for a Phoenix player. Winger Fredrik Sjostrom had a hat trick Thursday at Nashville.
Though the second period was scoreless, each team had several good chances. The best for Phoenix occurred when captain Shane Doan hit the right post with just more than five minutes remaining in the period.
With less than one minute remaining in the middle session, Auld stopped Gaborik in close.
"That was a heart breaker to lose because we played well against a very good team," said Wayne Gretzky, the Phoenix coach. "It was a good effort, but we took three undisciplined penalties late, and two of those cost us the game."
Notes: Peter Mueller, the Coyotes' 1st-round pick in 2006, was a healthy scratch. Mueller is scoreless in the Coyotes first four games. ... Minnesota Brian Rolston skated in his 900th NHL game. Rolston has played for New Jersey, Colorado, Boston. ... The attendance was 12,088, the lowest home crowd for Phoenix since last Dec. 21 (12,704) against Edmonton.