GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Brent Johnson's Phoenix debut wasn't all he hoped
for, but it was just enough for the Coyotes.
Johnson, acquired Friday from St. Louis, made 30 saves as the Coyotes tied
the Minnesota Wild 1-1 Sunday night.
``I told myself before the game to play with a lot of competitiveness, but
also to have some fun,'' Johnson said.
Ivan Novoseltsev scored for the Coyotes, 0-4-2-2 in their last eight games.
Phoenix is 2-12-2-3 since consecutive wins against San Jose and Detroit in late
``We're teetering. We're close, but what's going to push us is that mental
toughness,'' said interim coach Rick Bowness, who is 0-3-1-2 since taking over
for Bobby Francis on Feb. 24. ``Our defense is good for the most part, but why
not for 60 minutes? That's mental toughness.''
Dwayne Roloson made 25 saves and Andrew Brunette scored his team-leading
13th goal for the Wild, 0-4-3-0 in their last seven games. The Wild are 0-2-19
in overtime this season, five ties short of Philadelphia's 34-year-old league
``It looks like we love them,'' said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire. ``I'd
love to win one. We're getting close, but we don't win any,''
Johnson kept the game even as Phoenix killed three third-period penalties,
including Mike Rupp's double-minor for high-sticking, as well as an abbreviated
31.9-second power play in overtime.
``We started a little slow, there's no doubt,'' Lemaire said. ``But we
picked it up in the second and third periods.''
Novoseltsev gave Phoenix an early 1-0 lead. Novoseltsev, playing in his
second game after missing 19 with a concussion, took a pass from Chris Gratton
behind the Minnesota defense and stumbled before gaining control just outside
the blue line.
After taking two strides to regain his balance, Novoseltsev skated untouched
on Roloson and scored his second goal at 4:42 of the first period.
``I was kind of surprised,'' Novoseltsev said. ``It was a good pass and the
defense made a mistake.''
Minnesota tied the game late in the period when Brunette took a shot that
deflected off defenseman Radoslav Suchy's skate and past Johnson.
``I was following it across, but once I realized it didn't make it across it
was between my legs,'' Johnson said.
Phoenix's Fredrik Sjostrom had a chance for a second Coyotes goal, but his
long wrist shot bounced off the crossbar and the back of Roloson's right leg
before skidding harmlessly away.
``We needed anything positive we could get and I think we played a pretty
good game,'' Brunette said.
Notes: Novoseltsev's other goal came Oct. 24 against Minnesota as a member
of the Florid Panthers. ... Minnesota, which tied Los Angeles 1-1 on Thursday,
is 9-5-4 in games following ties. ... Rupp, acquired by Phoenix from New Jersey
on Friday, was also making his Coyotes debut. ... The Wild is 1-10-5-0 against
the Pacific Division, with the lone win coming Dec. 15 at Phoenix.