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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Arizona

Third game of trip brings Wild to the desert for a matchup with the Coyotes Saturday night

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (5-10-1) at Arizona Coyotes (9-5-2)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Wild will try and pick up where it left off on Thursday night when it plays the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday night.

Last time out, the Wild scored three times in the third period but saw its rally fall one goal short in a 6-5 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks led 4-0 after one period and 6-2 after two, but Minnesota dominated the final 20 minutes, killing a pair of penalties in the process, including one controversial five-minute major on Ryan Hartman in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

Brad Hunt and Ryan Donato got the rally started and Jason Zucker pulled Minnesota within one with more than four minutes left. Zach Parise had a golden opportunity to tie the game stopped by the right pad of goaltender Martin Jones and Ryan Suter banked a shot off the post in the final seconds of the near miracle comeback.

Now, the Wild will try and carry that momentum into game three of the club's four-game, 10-day trip against Pacific Division foes.

Minnesota's offense has been on point through the first two contests, having posted nine goals, including six in the third period alone.

Video: Wild practice update in San Jose

"You would have thought [we'd have a 2-0 record]," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "When you're at home and you're done and sitting there thinking about it, you go back over points given away at the end of the year. So far, after 16 games, we've given at least 6 to 8 points away. You can't do that in this League."

Wild forward Marcus Foligno is questionable to play Saturday with a lower-body injury. If he can't go, Victor Rask will enter the lineup. 

It's hard to call the Coyotes a surprise with the way they played during the second half of the 2018-19 season, but Arizona is off to a strong start, posting a 9-5-2 record through 16 games. Their 20 points is fifth in the division but good enough to occupy the second wild card spot. Arizona is just four points back of first-place Edmonton in a crowded Pacific.

Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes with 10 assists and 14 points while 23-year-old forward Connor Garland has picked up where he left off last season, scoring seven goals and 10 points so far.

Former Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been outstanding in 11 starts, posting a 7-4-0 record with a 1.82 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. 

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