Goals by Zuccarello, Gaudreau help Coyotes sweep Wild Top

St. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello and Freddie Gaudreau scored goals 51 seconds apart in the second period and the Minnesota Wild held off a shaky Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night.

Kirill Kapryzov nearly scored a game-tying goal and Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for Minnesota in his only home game in seven games.

The Wild are 14-2-0 in their last 16 games against the Coyotes.

“It’s nice to come home in front of our fans. Obviously get two points. Even though they’re low in the standings, they’re still a good team,” said Fleury, 5-1-2 in his last eight starts.

Lawson Krause scored and Connor Ingram stopped 25 shots for Arizona, which had lost eight straight games — all in regulation — en route to a 33-15 victory. It’s the Coyotes’ longest losing streak since they lost nine in a row from Oct. 18 to Nov. 5, 2021.

“It’s hard to play A-plus games every night when you’re playing every other night, traveling and so on. I think what we can take from this game is if you don’t play up to your standards and you get two points, it’s a good day,” Zuccarello said.

Kaprizov thought he had given Minnesota a 3-1 lead midway through the third period with a shot from the left circle. However, a review of the video showed that Sam Steele was hardly offside. The goal would have been the 100th of his career and came two years after Kapryzov scored an overtime goal in his first NHL game against Los Angeles.

Instead, he’ll just have to celebrate the win.

“We are all outraged when we lose such a goal. I’m sure it will happen. You just have to be patient,” Zuccarello said.

“The moment it’s a target, it’s a killer,” Ingram said. “I think that’s the reason the rule is there, if it’s close, you play it, go back and make sure you get it right. It was a big challenge. It was close and it kept us in it and gave us another chance.”

Minnesota had a 5-on-3 lead 1:17 into the second period, but Ingram made big saves on Matt Baldi, Kaprizova and Joel Erickson Eck before the Wild beat Arizona’s goaltender for the final layup.

One-touch passes from Cullen Addison and Caprizov fed Zuccarello on the doorstep for an easy redirection at 9:39. It was Zuccarello’s seventh goal of the season, tying a career high.

Edison’s 16 points on the power play (all assists) are the most among NHL rookies.

“We were fortunate to catch a 5-on-3 break. I didn’t even look at the penalty, but yeah, we had to get the power play tonight because it was tough,” Wild coach Dean Evanson said.

Less than a minute later, Ryan Hartman collected a loose puck in the right circle and got around a sliding defenseman and Ingram before passing across the blue paint to Gaudreau. The goal was scored two seconds after the end of the power play.

Krause pounced on a rebound 5:44 into the third period and beat Fleury with a slap shot from the left post to pull the Coyotes within one.

“We had a really good game against a really good team. They’re in the top five in the league in shots against them in the slot, and we had a lot of them tonight. We got rebounds, we had penetration, we also defended well,” said coach Andre Turingi.

GAME CLEANER

The teams combined for just six penalty minutes. Arizona ranked 28th in penalty minutes per game with 11.3; Minnesota was 31st at 12.6.

FURTHER

Coyotes: Play at Winnipeg on Sunday.

Wild: Start a four-game road trip Tuesday at Washington.

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