With an opportunity to get a little bit of breathing room in the playoff scrum the Phoenix Coyotes dropped the ball against the Minnesota Wild. Phoenix surrendered three unanswered goals in the third period and fell to the visiting Wild 3-1 on Saturday night.
With a win the Coyotes would have moved ahead of the Wild for the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference. Instead they hold a one-point lead, with a game in hand, over the Dallas Stars for the eighth and final playoff spot.
“Obviously it's not good enough,” Coyotes forward Mikkel Boedker said. “We can't come out in the third and let them score two and an empty net goal. That's not how we do it around here. Obviously this was a good opportunity for us to jump up to seventh but that's the way it goes."
The Coyotes lone goal came with a bit of luck. After Minnesota was penalized for too many on the ice Coyotes forward Shane Doan attempted to pass it to the crease and it deflected of Boedker. The deflection found its way into the net and Phoenix had their only goal and only lead of the game. It was Boedker's 19th goal of the season.
Coyotes goalie Thomas Greiss, filling in for the injured Mike Smith, performed as well as an understudy can be expected to. He surrendered two-goals on 28-shots and played well enough to put his team in a position to win but his offense let him down.
“We didn't find enough offense from our forwards,” Doan said. “Our forwards have to be better.”
The Coyotes have seven-games left in the regular season. Four of those are at the friendly confines of Jobing.com Arena and the rest are on the road. On Tuesday they host the Winnipeg Jets and then they head to Los Angeles to take on the Kings.
Each and every point is crucial for the Coyotes but also is a short memory. You have to the past behind you and focus on the next opponent.
“We know we have a tough one coming up on Tuesday, we've got to get ready for that,” Doan said. “Every game puts more onus on the next one. That's the biggest part, we've got to get ready for the next one. We're obviously emotional, upset about this one but we can't do anything about it. We've got to get better.”