Minnesota at Phoenix

Wild 3, Coyotes 2


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Instead of losing his temper, Minnesota winger Eric Belanger got even with Phoenix by scoring the winning goal.

After being struck in the face and losing a tooth, Belanger scored a shorthanded goal late in the third period and the Minnesota Wild rallied to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Saturday night.

"The best way to get back is to score the winning goal," Belanger said. "I was upset with what happened, and it was a cheap shot. We have three games against them, so we'll see what will happen."

Belanger knocked in the rebound from a Stephane Veilleux backhander at 16:45. That came just more than three minutes after Mikko Koivu tied the game for Minnesota with six minutes, 20 seconds remaining.

Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, who allowed just one goal in his previous three starts this season, surrendered two first-period goals, but none thereafter. He had 27 saves.

"When I gave up those goals, I felt I let the team down," Backstrom said. "Between the second and third periods, we talked about the situation, and had all the confidence we would come back."

Phoenix goalie Alex Auld stopped 23 shots.

The Wild scored first when Marian Gaborik converted a perfect centering pass from Pavol Demitra at 4:09 of the opening period.

Then, Daniel Carcillo struck twice for Phoenix.

First on the power play, he scored on a scramble in front of the goal at 14:51 of the first period. Just more than two minutes later, Carcillo skated into a pass from Niko Kapanen and beat Backstrom with a slap shot from the right face-off circle.

The two tallies marked the first multigoal game for Carcillo in his two-year NHL career.

"We need to be more disciplined in the third period," he said. "We took it to them in the first two periods, but obviously we didn't get the result we wanted."

The effort also marked the second straight multiple goal game for a Phoenix player. Winger Fredrik Sjostrom had a hat trick Thursday at Nashville.

Though the second period was scoreless, each team had several good chances. The best for Phoenix occurred when captain Shane Doan hit the right post with just more than five minutes remaining in the period.

With less than one minute remaining in the middle session, Auld stopped Gaborik in close.

"That was a heart breaker to lose because we played well against a very good team," said Wayne Gretzky, the Phoenix coach. "It was a good effort, but we took three undisciplined penalties late, and two of those cost us the game."


Peter Mueller, the Coyotes' 1st-round pick in 2006, was a healthy scratch. Mueller is scoreless in the Coyotes first four games. ... Minnesota Brian Rolston skated in his 900th NHL game. Rolston has played for New Jersey, Colorado, Boston. ... The attendance was 12,088, the lowest home crowd for Phoenix since last Dec. 21 (12,704) against Edmonton.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Minnesota  (4-0-0) «1023
Phoenix (2-3-0)2002
Three Stars
D. Carcillo

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
P. Demitra

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
E. Belanger

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
04:09Marian Gaborik (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Pavol Demitra, Wes Walz
14:51Power Play - Daniel Carcillo (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Shane Doan, Ed Jovanovski
17:08Daniel Carcillo (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Niko Kapanen
13:40Power Play - Mikko Koivu (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Pavol Demitra, Pierre-Marc Bouchard
16:45Short - Eric Belanger (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Stephane Veilleux, Nick Schultz
Penalty Summary
06:10Vrbata, 2 min, High sticking
07:39Morris, 2 min, Cross Check
13:08Foster, 2 min, Interference
04:41Kapanen, 2 min, Tripping
08:03Gaborik, 2 min, Slashing
07:11Jovanovski, 2 min, Holding
12:47Reinprecht, 2 min, Hooking
15:02Gaborik, 4 min, Roughing
15:02Boynton, 2 min, Roughing
18:23Doan, 2 min, Boarding
18:23Carcillo, 10 min, Game Misconduct
18:23Radivojevic, 10 min, Game Misconduct
19:20Bouchard, 2 min, Holding
19:55Schultz, 2 min, Broken Stick
Niklas Backstrom60:00272
Alex Auld59:33233
Game Information
Attendance - 12088
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Dan Marouelli
Linesmen - Jonny Murray, Lyle Seitz
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