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Period Recaps: Wild at Phoenix

by Mike Doyle / Minnesota Wild

What’s new, State of Hockey Legion?

If you haven’t heard, the Wild has undergone a few changes in the past two days. Yesterday, the team recalled forward Charlie Coyle from the Houston Aeros. Coyle will make his NHL debut tonight, on a line with Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen, against the Phoenix Road Kill, also known as the Coyotes. Today, the Wild traded for Mike Rupp, from the New York Rangers, for forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. Rupp is expected to join the team in the State of Hockey on Wednesday.

The Wild also made a few changes amongst the forward lines. The first line stays intact and everyone knows who they are, and, as previously mentioned, Coyle joins the second line. The third line will be comprised of Kyle Brodziak, Cal Clutterbuck and joining them is Torrey Mitchell. Zenon Konopka will center the fourth line with Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi on the wings. The D-pairs will remain the same.

Niklas Backstrom gets his second-straight start in net. He is 11-8-0 with a 2.12 goal against average, a .932 save percentage and three shutouts in 19 career starts versus Phoenix.

The healthy scratches are Matt Kassian and Nate Prosser. Jared Spurgeon is on Injured Reserve with a lower body injury.

Per usual on the road, Minnesota sports its white sweaters with Wild head logo and green arm stripes, while Phoenix wears its home blacks with howling Coyote.

As always, we're live tweeting the game @mnwildLIVE and will provide period recaps on this page.

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Period 1 - MIN 0, PHX 1

Both teams had several good scoring chances that period, but it was the Coyotes that tallied the lone goal.

Lauri Korpikoski made a pretty backhand tip, off of a Keith Yandle wrist shot from the blue line, that beat Backstrom on the glove side. 

The Wild had several good opportunities, but just missed converting. Kyle Brodziak had the best chance of the period, a shorthanded breakaway, but Smith got the better of him. Brodziak broke in and tried a forehand-backhand move, but Smith timed a poke check to knock the puck away.

The Wild was outshot 17-10, but had plenty of grade-A scoring chances. I have a feeling the guys are going to talk things out and come out firing in the second period. You heard it here first.

Period 2 - MIN 1, PHX 2

The second period saw a ton of action, with each team getting on the board.

The Coyotes jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a rebound goal from Martin Hanzal. Radim Vrbata took a slapper from the left point and Hanzal picked up the rebound and slid it past Backstrom. Zbynek Michalek picked up the second assist.

The Wild responded a few minutes later with Zach Parise's 200th NHL goal. He intercepted a Coyotes clearing attempted and broke in on Smith, firing a low wrist shot past the Yotes' netminder.

The Wild owned play that period, outshooting, 8-6, and out-chancing the Coyotes, and look to keep old Uncle Mo with them heading into the final frame.

Period 3 - MIN 1, PHX 2

The third period saw several chances for the Wild, but the club couldn't muster a comeback.

The team's best chance came on a late power play, as Pierre-Marc Bouchard rang a blistering slap shot off the post/crossbar.

The Wild returns home to Xcel Energy Center on Thursday, as the club hosts the Vancouver Canucks at 7 p.m.

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