PHOENIX (AP) -- Andrew Brunette made sure the Minnesota Wild never let up.
Brunette had a goal and two assists, and Minnesota spoiled Phoenix's final
game at America West Arena, beating the Coyotes 5-2 Monday night.
"We put pressure on them the whole game, a good 60 minutes of sustained
pressure, and that's something we haven't done all year," Brunette said.
"We've played on our heels more than our toes, and I thought tonight we took
the game to them."
A crowd announced at 13,462 turned out in the built-for-basketball venue,
where 4,000 seats have an obstructed view of the ice.
After a four-game road trip, the Coyotes return to play Nashville on Dec. 27
in their first game at their new arena in suburban Glendale. The $220 million,
17,799-seat building has been under construction since April 2002.
The NHL front-loaded the Coyotes' schedule with road games, so they will
have 28 home contests in Glendale.
Jason Wiemer and Matt Johnson scored early for the Wild, who won their
second straight and third in four games, and Wes Walz and Alexandre Daigle had
empty-net goals in the last 47 seconds.
Brunette got the winner with 8:17 left in the third period with some slick
stick-handling, sending the puck out from below the goal line with a forehand
push and then tapping it past Phoenix's Sean Burke with a backhand.
He got the puck behind the net from Jim Dowd, who had two assists.
"Bruno was just fabulous with the puck," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He
made some plays, brought the puck inside, got some scoring chances. I think
even on the bench, the guys were excited by that line working down hard, and I
think it motivated the other guys."
Fredrik Sjostrom and Brian Savage scored for Phoenix, which absorbed its
second loss (4-2-3) during a nine-game stretch in which the Coyotes were
outshot in each contest.
Minnesota goaltender Dwayne Roloson had 18 saves, and Burke made 24.
"We kept the shots down, the quality chances down, but we lost the game,"
Phoenix coach Bob Francis said.
Sjostrom, Phoenix's first draft pick in 2001, came up from the minors on
Nov. 30 and got his first NHL goal Friday.
He scored for the second straight game on a wrist shot from a sharp angle
after carrying the puck through the left circle 4:35 in.
"I didn't have much room to work with, so I just tried a quick shot and,
luckily, it went in," Sjostrom said.
Wiemer interrupted an 11:47 stretch of the second period in which both teams
combined for three shots with his power-play goal with 8:13 left -- a deflection
off the first of Sergei Zholtok's two assists.
The Coyotes answered 44 seconds later when Roloson moved into the slot to
meet a charge by Branko Radivojevic, whose hard shot from the right side
ricocheted off Roloson's pads and out to Savage.
Savage fired into the open net as Roloson scrambled to get back.
But Johnson tied it at 2-2 with 2:19 left in the second, deflecting Jim
Dowd's slap shot from above the circle.
"The defense were able to clear it away for most of the shots, which is
what we've been doing and we've got to continue," Roloson said. "We haven't
got results from it, but now we're starting to get some results."