Following Wild games, Content Coordinator Evan Sporer will give the Five Takeaways that he remembers from the contest. Tonight, he looks back at the Wild's 4-3 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.
We now introduce you to the Zach Parise section of five takeaways, featuring Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise.
Through three games this regular season, there's been one constant for the Wild (besides winning): Parise has scored in each contest.
Parise's fifth goal of the season, his third on the power play, was scored in very similar fashion to how he got his first two. The Wild worked the puck around the zone, it found its way to Ryan Suter, and Suter made a play that ended with Parise scoring.
On Mikael Granlund's goal, his first of the season, Parise froze Connor Murphy with a slap-pass after cocking his stick in a shooting position. Would have been a good play had Parise shot, but was a better play and a bona fide goal by setting up Granlund.
Dating back to last season, Parise now has a four-game goal streak. He also now has a 12-game points streak against the Coyotes.
Congrats to Thomas Vanek (again) for scoring career goal number 300 (again).
After it appeared Vanek scored his 300th goal on Saturday against the Blues, a scoring change switched the goal to Charlie Coyle.
There was no doubt Vanek's goal on Thursday belonged to him. He toe-dragged and outwaited a sliding Michael Stone before somehow finding daylight between Mike Smith's shoulder and the crossbar.
Coyle, who joked after the game on Saturday that now Vanek would get two standing ovations after Vanek's 300th goal was switched to him, was instrumental in creating Vanek's official 300th. Coyle sprinted up ice to create a 2-on-1 and force Stone to split the distance, before Vanek did the rest.
Good teammate award goes to Jason Pominville, who tipped off Nate Prosser to go retrieve the puck from the ref to make sure it ends up with Vanek.
The Wild penalty kill, which Head Coach Mike Yeo spent time on during the past three practices, was much improved against Arizona. Yeo said the penalty kill wasn't all the way there after morning skate on Thursday, but it's certainly a lot closer.
"We needed that game from our penalty kill; that was huge," Yeo said in the postgame.
Arizona was denied time and space, and when the Coyotes had the puck in the offensive zone, they were limited to the outside. The Wild killed off all seven penalties it took.
"We got back to our game a little bit more than we had been," Yeo said. "In-zone, a bit more pressure, and reading off each other better. That's the key for us: We have to pressure, you have to try to prevent them from gaining control, but when they do get control, you have to take away their options, and I thought we did a better job of that."
The penalty kill was so effective it ended up scoring a goal.
It was with a nice play by Marco Scandella—who had a very solid game—who chipped the puck up the boards toward Jason Zucker. Fully in stride, Zucker drew a penalty by skating through a flat-footed defenseman, but kept going with the play. He eventually sent a cross-ice pass to Mikko Koivu, whose one-timer beat Smith to make it 3-0.
"We were a little bit better, and we can still be better," Yeo said. "They had some pretty clean entries; we can do a better job there."
A nice return to the lineup for Justin Fontaine. He made a heady play in the neutral zone to spring Thomas Vanek on Minnesota's second goal, picking up the lone assist. He looked comfortable skating with Vanek and Coyle, and didn't really miss a beat.
Yeo said the purpose of constructing the third line the way he has was for it to be a scoring line, and through three games, the line has combined to score four goals at even-strength.
One hundred career wins for Devan Dubnyk after making 22 saves against his former team in his first game played in Arizona since being traded to Minnesota in February.
"That was brought up a couple of days ago, I forgot about it on purpose," Dubnyk said laughing.
Dubnyk is always quick to credit the Coyotes and specifically goaltending coach Sean Burke for helping him with his skating last season, so a nice building for Dubnyk to pick up the milestone.
"It's a big one. That's a lot, and this team has been an important part of that obviously for me, a lot of them have come here," Dunnyk said. "I'll remember it, it's nice to get it back here, but hopefully there are a lot more to come."