Mats Zuccarello and Frederick Gaudreau scored 51 seconds apart in the second period to fuel the host Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the reeling Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in St. Paul, Minn.
Gaudreau also did his part in the faceoff circle, winning 13 of 18 draws. Joel Eriksson Ek won 9 of 12 faceoffs as the Wild improved to 4-1-2 in their past seven games.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves to improve to 2-0-0 against Arizona this season and 17-9-1 with three shutouts in his career versus the Coyotes. The former Vezina Trophy recipient and three-time Stanley Cup champion turned aside 20 shots in a 4-3 win over Arizona on Nov. 27.
Lawson Crouse scored in the third period and Connor Ingram turned aside 25 shots for the Coyotes, who extended their season-high losing skid to eight games. Arizona has been outscored 33-15 during that stretch.
With Minnesota on the power play, Zuccarello shoveled home Kirill Kaprizov’s sharp centering feed to open the scoring at 9:39 of the second period. Zuccarello’s goal was his 18th of the season and 10th in his last 15 games.
Kaprizov picked up an assist to extend his point streak to three games.
Gaudreau doubled the advantage after converting Ryan Hartman’s centering feed for his 11th goal of the season and second in as many games.
Crouse halved the deficit after cleaning up a rebound at 5:42 of the third period. Crouse’s goal was his team-leading 16th of the season, second in as many games overall and second against Minnesota in 2022-23.
Kaprizov nearly regained the Wild’s two-goal advantage later in the third period with his 100th career goal, however the Coyotes successfully challenged an offside call. The goal was disallowed.
Minnesota had a prime opportunity to open the scoring in the first period, however Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz lifted the stick of Eriksson Ek on a breakaway.
–Field Level Media