Arizona Coyotes Visit Minnesota Wild


The Arizona Coyotes begin a season-long eight-game road trip on Saturday night when they visit the Xcel Energy Center to take on the Minnesota Wild.

Arizona is coming off a six-game homestand that ended on Thursday night with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Calgary Flames. The Coyotes went 2-4 during their continued stay in Glendale. Mikkel Boedker had the only goal while Mike Smith saved 21 of 24 shots.

Although on a three-game losing streak, one bright spot for the Coyotes has been the inspired play of Boedker. He’s currently on a four-game goal streak in which he has lit the lamp five times.

Jan 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Mikkel Boedker (89) skates with the puck during the first period against the Calgary Flames at Gila River Arena. The Flames won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona (16-23-4) will again be without their captain Shane Doan, who could return to the lineup on Sunday in Winnipeg. Look for Tobias Rieder to join Antoine Vermette and Boedker on the top line.

Tonight’s opponent, the Minnesota Wild, is coming off a dismantling 7-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. This win snapped a six game losing streak. Jason Pominville led the charge with three assists, while Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek each had a goal and an assist.

Minnesota, sitting seven points away from the second wild card position, needs to gain some momentum in order to get back in the playoff race. With goaltending being a vital need to their success, the Wild acquired Coyotes goaltender, Devan Dubnyk earlier this week. In his debut, Dubnyk stopped all 18 shots directed at him for a shutout victory.

More from Arizona Coyotes

The Wild (19-19-5) are led by Parise, who’s one of the team leaders in goals (15), and Pominville who leads the team in assists (27). Their defensive unit will get some help in the return of Marco Scandella, who had missed the previous five games.

However, Minnesota will be without All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter, who is serving the back end of a two-game suspension.

Minnesota has taken both of the previous matchups this season against Arizona. In late October, they took a 2-0 victory and in mid-December they won 4-3 in a shootout.

The puck will drop for the Coyotes and Wild at 7 PM MST in Minnesota.