NHL: Wild 4, Coyotes 3: Minnesota scores 4 goals, holds on to beat Phoenix

2013-03-01T00:00:00Z NHL: Wild 4, Coyotes 3: Minnesota scores 4 goals, holds on to beat PhoenixThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 01, 2013 12:00 am  • 

GLENDALE - As a defensive-minded team, the Minnesota Wild is used to pulling out one-goal games.

Doing it after leading by three was a little different, but there won't be any complaints from the Wild after a rare offensive outburst.

Dany Heatley had two goals, and the Wild held on for a 4-3 win over the Coyotes on Thursday night after scoring four goals for the third time in 19 games this season.

"We had a three-goal lead and still made it a one-goal game, unfortunately," Heatley said. "We're used to those games; we're used to tight games, and it seems like the goalie is pulled every night one way or the other."

The Wild, one of the NHL's lowest-scoring teams, jumped on the Coyotes early, getting two goals in the first period and two more in the second.

Jason Zucker opened the flurry with a goal 1:35 into the game on Minnesota's first shot, and Heatley added one late in the period on its third. Heatley scored again in the second, and Jared Spurgeon added his first goal in more than a year to put the Wild up 4-1.

A strange goal by Keith Yandle - off the side glass at a sharp angle past Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom - cut the Wild lead to two.

As expected, the Coyotes pulled their goalie in the closing minutes, and Shane Doan gave them a chance at pulling off the comeback by scoring with 59 seconds left.

Phoenix kept coming with an extra attacker, but couldn't score again, allowing Minnesota to leave the desert with a sigh of relief and its fourth win in five games.

"It probably doesn't deserve to be a 4-3 game, to be honest with you," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "A tough bounce and a penalty at the end of the game there, but that's a big road win for us right there."

The Coyotes came out flat after a three-game road trip through Canada.

Phoenix goalie Mike Smith had an off night, allowing four goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Jason LaBarbera to start the third period.

Rostislav Klesla also scored for the Coyotes, who have three straight games against Anaheim coming up next thanks to a quirk in the lockout-shortened schedule.

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