The Minnesota Wild returned to hockey on Friday night with new faces playing with new rules against a team with a new coach. Unfortunately, they couldn’t christen the new season with a win as they fell to the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2. Pascal Dupuis and Peter Olvecky each netted power play goals for Minnesota, which held leads of 1-0 and 2-1
The Coyotes took control of the game in second half of the second period when Shane Doan and Ladislav Nagy put Phoenix ahead for good with power play tallies of their own. All five of the goals came with the man advantage.
The Wild can take some solace after winning the overtime shootout by a 1-0 score. Manny Fernandez turned aside all three of the Coyote attempts while Patrick O’Sullivan tallied the only goal in the shootout for the Wild.
Dupuis netted the Wild’s first goal of the exhibition season with a power play marker just seven minutes into the game. Filip Kuba and Kurtis Foster pick up helpers on the goal that stood until there was less than a minute remaining in the period. It was then that former Calgary Flame Derek Morris knotted the score at 1-1, which is how the first period would end.
The Wild jumped to a 2-1 lead in the second period when rookie Peter Olvecky poked a loose puck home after a scramble in front of Phoenix goaltender, Brian Boucher. That lead was erased by Yotes forward Shane Doan. With five seconds remaining in the period, Ladislav Nagy put the Coyotes ahead for good.
The two clubs will quickly renew acquaintances on Saturday night, this time at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The puck will drop at 7:00 PM.