Even though they got off to a real poor start in Minnesota, the Coyotes still managed to hold on for a 4-2 victory over the Wild on Wednesday night to snap their two-game losing streak. The win also gave the Coyotes a split on their brief two-game trip.
Phoenix was penalized early and often in this one. Just 34 seconds into the game, Ray Whitney was called a hook. A little more than two minutes later, Vernon Fiddler was served with high-sticking and unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties that gave the Wild a two-man advantage and put them on the power play for a total of four minutes. Towards of the period with about five minutes remaining, Nolan Yonkman was in the box for roughing. Despite all the mistakes early on, the Desert Dogs managed to kill all the penalties.
Ed Jovanovski got the scoring under way with under a minute remaining in the opening period for his fourth goal of the season. Early in the second, Scottie Upshall scored for his seventh goal of the season. Upshall would add another late in the third period to give his team a two goal advantage. Mikko Koivu scored over a minute later after Upshall’s goal to get things within one for Minnesota, but Lauri Korpikoski sealed it with an empty netter with 30 seconds remaining.
Jason LaBarbera started in net to replace Ilya Bryzgalov. For his second straight start, the 30-year-old played well stopping 33 of 35 shot for his second victory of the season and the 47th of his career. If these his last two starts are any indication, LaBarbera could very well be returning to last season’s form.
Phoenix has the next two nights off before they face the Florida Panthers at home on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena. The puck will drop at 6 p.m.