Too little too late is the taste the Phoenix Coyotes will have left in their mouth heading into a 3 game series with Anaheim.
The Coyotes jumped all over Minnesota early and out shot them greatly in the opening period but trailed 1 – 0 after only 1:35 into the game. Phoenix almost score 5 times in the opening period but Minnesota did score and they even could have score more than that. We just could not bury the puck early on. Zucker put in a nice passing play and Heatley added some top cheese to end 2 – 0 after one period. Paul Biznasty got worked in his fight mid 1st taking a few shots to the grill. We couldn’t win any battle early
The 2nd period was the same as the ‘Yotes jumped early but Heatley added another to make it 3 – 0 and it looked over. Rusty Klesla gave the home team hope but it didn’t last long as as 1/3 of the period Phoenix was killing penalties which led to Spurgeon’s power play game winner. 4 – 1 after 2nd period. 6 mins to none is not a good period to be chasing the play and the score.
The 3rd period was not the jump out Phoenix hoped for or needed as both teams traded penalties and the Wild seemed like they fell like they played for the Spurs.
In the end Yandle had an unbelievable goal that bounced off the glass and through the side of Backstrom who only allowed 2 tricky slippery goals to this point. With less than a minute to go Shane Doan scored his milestone goal on a wrister in the middle of the ice to make it closer than the game really was. None the less the ‘Yotes came away with no points and slipped out of playoff contention.
Mike Smith was pulled after 2 periods and once again Jason LaBarbera allowed no goal in releif. Defense has done a lot to contribute to the goals allowed but Smitty has to be better.
Anaheim leads the Pacific division and will be here for 2 games and in Anaheim for the 3rd in a row. This is the chance for Phoenix to make up for missed opportunities. All 3 would be awesome but 2 of 3 is much needed. Worst case 3 points in 3 games seems a must. The next 3 games will let the Coyotes define them as contenders or pretenders.