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Five Takeaways From Wild At Coyotes

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

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 2-1 overtime loss against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. 



ARIZONA --



FIRST TAKEAWAY



Three-on-three overtime continues to be unkind to the Wild.



After losing in Arizona on Friday, the Wild dropped to 1-6 in overtimes. It's something Minnesota worked into its practices this week, but a Zach Parise penalty 16 seconds in put the Wild shorthanded.

Then seconds into the power play, a fortuitous deflection gave the Coyotes a shot at a wide-open net, and just like that, the game was over.

"I mean tonight, what are you supposed to do? You take a penalty, and it bounces to the guy on the backdoor," Darcy Kuemper said. "You just have to stay the course, and at least we're grinding out points. We're bound to start winning some of these."



It was that kind of night for the Wild. In a matter of minutes in the second period, Minnesota hit three posts before the Coyotes tied the game at 1-1 on their second shot of the period with 2:10 sitting between the Wild and starting the third with a lead.

Head Coach Mike Yeo said around that time was when the tide began to turn for the Wild.

"We were going pretty good until the latter part of the second period," Yeo said. "We started to turn some pucks over, and kind of got away from that mentality of playing behind their defense, and that led to a little bit more of a back-and-forth game."


Though Minnesota is having trouble earning a second point when games get to overtime, Yeo said he doesn't think those losses will wear on the Wild.

"Shame on us if it does," he said. "Through the course of the season you have to face all different kind of challenges, so this is something that's not going well.

"We're not in the business to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We'll try to rectify it, we'll try to get better at it, and the same approach that we have to have is every game is a new challenge."

SECOND TAKEAWAY



Zach Parise played his first career game against the Coyotes on November 22, 2006; he was held scoreless on 19 shifts. In the 13 games against the Coyotes since then, Parise has recorded at least a point in each, including Friday night, when he made a nifty play to set up Jared Spurgeon for the game's first goal.



The 13-game point streak is the longest active point streak of any player against a single team in the NHL.



The play began with Parise winning a footrace to a loose puck in the neutral zone. With Nicklas Grossman caught in between, Parise chipped the puck off the boards and to himself to create a two-on-one. 

As Parise and Spurgeon skated toward the net, the former floated a pass over a prone Michael Stone, and Spurgeon batted the puck in out of mid-air for the score.



Also receiving a point on the play was Jason Pominville, who picked up the secondary assist. With Parise back in the lineup, his line with Pominville and Mikael Granlund has been generating good chances, and of late, scoring goals (the line has been on for four even-strength goals-for in the past five games). 



THIRD TAKEAWAY



Another structured, stingy defensive effort from Minnesota, its fourth consecutive game of allowing fewer than 30 shots on goal. 



It was a similar formula for the Wild: good puck management that gave it favorable position all game. When Arizona won the puck back, it was forced to try to carry it 200 feet end-to-end.



It's how the Wild was able to limit the Coyotes to five shots in the first period, and six in the second. Sans an offensive zone turnover that led to the Coyotes' game-tying goal, the Wild did a good job of not only creating puck possession, but also didn't give the Coyotes chances to use their speed and quickly counter.



FOURTH TAKEAWAY



The reminders and signals that the Stadium Series is approaching are coming more frequently. The latest was Mike Modano's presence at the game on Friday. 



The former Minnesota North Star joined the Fox Sports North broadcast and chatted about a range of topics, including the alumni game, which he'll be a participant in. Judging by the way Modano looked, he won't need to add any pre-Alumni Game training into his regimen.



Modano will join the group of former North Stars and Wild players who will take on the Chicago Blackhawks a day prior to the Alumni Game. It's something that, for a guy who played over 300 career professional games in Minnesota, he said he could have never imagined. He won't be taking part in the main attraction, but Modano will get to relive some of his Minnesota days and be a part of a special weekend.



FIFTH TAKEAWAY



This dispatch is coming to you from what felt like Xcel Energy Center West for three hours on Friday. 



If you've been keeping home at score, you may know this is a big Minnesota-Arizona weekend. The Vikings and Cardinals played on Thursday night and the Timberwolves and Suns play on Saturday. 



So there were a few — and that word is being used judicially — Wild fans in attendance on Friday night. 

In all seriousness, it looked like there were more Wild fans than Coyotes fans in the arena. And they made their voices heard. At about 7:02 p.m., there was a clear and loud "Let's Go Wild" cheer. Those persisted throughout the night, with the announced attendance of 14,404 wearing plenty of Wild jerseys and painting the lower and upper bowl green.

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