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Coyotes score four unanswered to top Wild in OT

Minnesota looks to turn page to Saturday when Chicago comes to town

by Dan Myers @DanMyers /

ST. PAUL -- When Wild defenseman Mike Reilly snatched a puck out of the air, dropped it to the blade of his stick and fired past Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta, giving Minnesota a three-goal lead midway through the second period, it seemed Minnesota was well on its way to yet another home victory. 

But behind the bench coach Bruce Boudreau said something still didn't feel right.

"Even at 3-0 I wasn't comfortable," he said. "I mean, we weren't skating, they were beating us to every puck, they were outworking us. Even though we got three goals, it wasn't a 3-0 game at the time."

Video: ARI@MIN: Reilly gloves down puck, buries first goal

As it turned out, the veteran coach was right.

Nick Cousins scored 91 seconds later to get the Coyotes on the board, giving Arizona hope. Then in the third, they poured it on, outshooting Minnesota 13-6 and getting goals from Kevin Connauton before tying the game with 18 seconds remaining on Cousins' second of the night. 

Then, with just over a minute to play in overtime, Arizona finished the rally in style when rookie Clayton Keller picked a corner on Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who did everything in his power to keep the Wild afloat through regulation. Dubnyk finished with 36 saves in all, two nights after an outstanding effort backstopping the Wild against the Blues.

Video: Locker room postgame vs. Arizona

"I don't think it was just the third [period]," Dubnyk said. "That team works hard. We're more than good enough to find a way around that, and that's just not good."

That seemed to be the common theme from everyone in the Wild dressing room following a 4-3 defeat to the Coyotes, who even with the victory have 13 fewer points than the next best team in the Western Conference.

Up three goals, at home, where the Wild has been virtually unbeatable as of late, Boudreau said that simply can't happen.

Tweet from @mnwild: "We weren't skating. They were beating us to every loose puck. They were outworking us." �����Bruce Boudreau on #ARIvsMIN

"Not good enough. Pretty simple. That was the message after the game and the message from here on in," Boudreau said. "You're fighting for your playoff lives, and you come up and you blow a three-nothing lead to a team that isn't going to be in the playoffs. You can't be successful if you do that."

The Wild has made a habit of feasting on opponents early in games at home, overwhelming some of the best teams in the NHL Vegas, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg in first periods over the past month.

But against Arizona, the Wild seemed slow out of the gate, unable to build on an emotional win in St. Louis on Tuesday night. 

Minnesota scored on a pretty passing play by Tyler Ennis and Jared Spurgeon, setting up Eric Staal at 17:13 of the first. 

Video: ARI@MIN: Staal goes top shelf to cap off pretty play

Matt Cullen broke free for a breakaway goal six minutes into the second and Reilly added on four minutes later, but for some reason, Minnesota was never able to put the hammer down.

Video: ARI@MIN: Cullen roofs backhand to finish breakaway

"We got a lead and ... it's 3-1 and that next goal is so important when you got a two-goal lead and we kind of let our foot off the gas," Cullen said. "They were coming all night; they're a fast group, a hard-working group and I don't think we matched their level of speed and battle level. I thought that they out-battled us and definitely outplayed us."

The Wild extended its home points streak to 11 games, going 8-0-3 during that stretch for a new franchise record. But it was still "a missed opportunity," Cullen said. "We can't be giving away points, especially with where we sit in the standings but at this time of the year, you have to turn the page in a hurry. We have a real big one coming up, but we all understand that was a missed opportunity and hopefully that'll be a little bit of fire for next game."

The single point moved the Wild into the second wild-card position all by itself in the West, one point ahead of Los Angeles and two clear of both Colorado and Anaheim. 

The Wild is eight points ahead of Chicago, which comes to town Saturday knowing its realistic hopes for a postseason berth could be on the line. 

"We've got to get back to the drawing board tomorrow," Boudreau said. "If we let it fester then it'll fester into Saturday's game and it'll fester into the next game. It's not that we're not happy, we're not just going to let it be water off a duck's back or anything. We will have to learn from it and we will work hard tomorrow."


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