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game recap

Wild set their records for wins, points

Defeat Coyotes to end regular season on four-game winning streak

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Minnesota Wild set their records for wins and points in a season with a 3-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Minnesota (49-25-8), which has won four in a row, finished with 106 points, two more than its previous record set in 2006-07. The Wild will face the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"They defend well, they have and lot of skill up front and they are well-coached, so it's the whole package we're going to face," Wild captain Mikko Koivu said. "Both teams are familiar with each other when you face a division opponent, so it should be a good matchup."


WATCH: All Wild vs. Coyotes highlights


Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said the matchup against the Blues will be a challenge.

"They don't really have a weakness," he said. "They've got six good defensemen, they have four lines that can go, especially with the addition of (Vladimir) Sobotka and their goalie (Jake Allen) has been on fire since the change (to coach Mike Yeo). Our work is cut out for us, but I've seen our team all year and when we need to rise to the challenge, I think we will."

Martin Hanzal scored his 20th goal in his return to Arizona and Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves for his first win since Feb. 16. Hanzal was traded by the Coyotes to the Wild on Feb. 26.

It was an emotional night for Hanzal; former teammate Craig Cunningham was honored before the game, and Hanzal took part in the ceremonial faceoff.

Video: MIN@ARI: Craig Cunningham drops the ceremonial puck

There was a video tribute to Hanzal played during the first period. His close friend, Zbynek Michalek, was playing his final game with the Coyotes. His mentor, Coyotes captain Shane Doan, is undecided about his NHL future.

Hanzal told the parking attendant on his way into the arena to tell Mike Smith to please let him score No. 20.

"It's nice. I've never reached 20 goals, so that means something," Hanzal said. "But now it's playoff time and all the stats have to go to aside. The new season starts. I'm pumped because this is why you play hockey. I can't wait."

Brendan Perlini scored his 14th goal and Smith made 42 saves for the Coyotes (30-42-10).

Minnesota scored on its first shot when Jordan Martinook mishandled Smith's pass from behind the net and Erik Haula put the puck into an empty net at 4:13 to make it 1-0.

Video: MIN@ARI: Haula cashes in on turnover to open scoring

Staal made it 2-0 when he one-timed a pass from Charlie Coyle up and over Smith's shoulder at 10:47 for a power-play goal.

Perlini scored on Doan's rebound at 2:59 of the third period to make it 2-1. But Hanzal scored a power-play goal at 13:35 to give the Wild a 3-1 lead.

Video: MIN@ARI: Staal nets one-timer from circle for PPG

Goal of the game

In his 10th NHL season, Hanzal reached the 20-goal mark just under the wire with a power-play goal against his former team in his return to Arizona. The Coyotes traded Hanzal to the Wild on Feb. 26.

Video: MIN@ARI: Hanzal scores PPG in return to Arizona

Save of the game

Smith showed off his athleticism when he made back-to-back saves on Jason Zucker and Hanzal with just over two minutes left.


Highlight of the game

Several Wild players, including Hanzal, Staal, Devan Dubnyk, Zach Parise, Ryan White and Ryan Suter skated over to Doan to congratulate him on what may have been his final NHL game.

Video: MIN@ARI: Doan celebrated in final game of season

Unsung performance of the game

Koivu won 13 of 17 faceoffs and picked up his 40th assist of the season on Hanzal's goal.


They said it

"He's done so much good for this organization. Not just the amount of games he's played, but the way he carries himself and the way he work. There have been a lot of young players who have come through here like Keith Yandle, who have learned a lot. He was a warrior. 'Z' played hard every single shift he was out here and it's fitting that he finishes here." -- Coyotes coach Dave Tippett on defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who played his final game for them


Need to know

Doan assisted on Perlini's goal in his 1,540th NHL game, tying Johnny Bucyk for 14th place on the all-time list. ... The Wild are 11-2-1 in their past 14 games against the Coyotes and have points in 11 straight, the longest point streak against one opponent in their history.


What's next

Wild: Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against St. Louis Blues, TBD.

Coyotes: Season over.


Video: Staal, Kuemper propel Wild past Coyotes, 3-1

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