Wild beat Coyotes 5-2 for fourth straight win
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.
Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Foligno, Dmitry Kulikov and Kirill Kaprizov also scored for the Wild. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 23 shots while starting for the second straight game.
Minnesota has scored five goals in all four games of its current streak. The Wild opened the season with a five-game winning streak before losing three of four.
“We’re buzzing,” Fiala said. “We always step on the gas, I feel like. We never break.”
Shayne Gostisbehere had a goal and an assist — giving him points in his last two games — and Andrew Ladd also scored for Arizona, which trailed 2-0 after 9 minutes.
Scott Wedgewood replaced Karel Vejmelka in goal in the third period for the Coyotes (1-11-1), who broke an 11-game winless streak with a 5-4 victory over Seattle on Saturday. Vejmelka finished with 17 saves, and Wedgewood stopped all eight shots he faced.
Fiala got his stick on a loose puck at chest level and flipped it in with his shaft from the left side of the crease to give the Wild a 3-1 lead at 2:45 of the second period, and the Wild were never challenged.
“Lucky,” Fiala said. “That goal, I was a little impressed, I have to be honest. It was instinct, kind of. I saw the puck and it was redirected in the air, and I just tried to get it on net.”
Wild coach Dean Evason said the goal reminded him of another stick sport.
“It looked kind of like a lacrosse shot,” Evason said. “We had to watch it a couple more times. He has great hands.”
Kulikov scored 36 seconds after Fiala to pad the cushion, and Kaprizov scored on a 5-on-3 power play late in the second period for a 5-1 lead.
The Coyotes have given up 15 power play goals, second-most in the league. They led the league with 174 penalty minutes entering the game were 30th with a 65.8 save percentage when short-handed.
“A lot of our penalties are from our turnovers,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said.
Ericsson Ek scored at 4:22 of the first period — 22 seconds into a power play — and Foligno redirected Merrill’s shot from the point at 9:00 for a 2-0 lead.
“We just keep building our game, night in and night out,” Kulikov said. “Any time you get contributions from everybody in the lineup, it takes pressure off guys. You know you can put anybody on the ice and feel confident that they will be able to do the job.”
Coyotes forward Phil Kessel played in his 913th consecutive game and is one short of Garry Unger for third place in league history.
The Wild outscored the Coyotes 32-12 in winning seven of the eight meetings last season, when teams played solely within their division. The two will meet again in St. Paul on Nov. 30 and will finish the three-game season series there Apr. 26.
Wild: At Vegas on Thursday night.
Coyotes: At Chicago on Friday night.
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