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RECAP: Kaapo Kahkonen’s second career shutout lifts Minnesota Wild over Arizona Coyotes

Mar 16, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Derick Brassard (16) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin (25) battle for the puck in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 31 shots while garnering his ninth consecutive win and second career shutout as the Minnesota Wild completed a sweep of their three-game series with the Arizona Coyotes with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday night in Saint Paul, Minn.

Ryan Hartman, Mats Zuccarello and Jared Spurgeon scored goals for Minnesota, which tied its franchise record with its eighth straight home victory, the longest home win streak in the NHL this season.

The Wild, who are an NHL-best 12-2-1 since Feb. 18, also moved to within two points of the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the West Division with the victory.

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Adin Hill stopped 23 of 26 shots for Arizona, which fell to 0-3-1 in its last four games.

Minnesota needed just 97 seconds to take a 1-0 lead on Hartman’s fourth goal of the season. Hartman carried the puck in along the right boards and then hit Jordan Greenway cutting down the slot. Greenway’s shot went wide of the right post but bounced off the end wall straight to Hartman, who then fired a sharp-angle shot from below the right circle past Hill.

Arizona had a chance to take control of the game later in the period when Carson Soucy was called for a five-minute major for elbowing Conor Garland on a check along the boards. But Kahkonen was up to the task, turning away five shots.

The Coyotes missed another chance to tie it early in the second period when Clayton Keller broke in all alone on a breakaway, but Kahkonen made a right pad save on Keller’s forehand try.

Minnesota then extended its lead to 2-0 early in the third period when Zuccarello’s wrist shot from the top of the left circle off a drop pass from Soucy beat Hill on his glove side. It was Zuccarello’s fifth goal of the season and also the 4,000th regular-season goal in franchise history.

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Spurgeon extended the lead to 3-0 with his first goal of the season with 6:03 remaining on a slap shot from the right point, past a screen by Luke Johnson and inside the far post.

Minnesota outscored Arizona 11-1 in the series, including 9-0 in the third period.

–Field Level Media