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Minnesota Wild dominate the Phoenix Coyotes in the third period

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Zach Parise started a third period rally to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday at Jobing.com Arena.

Parise fired a shot over the blocker shoulder of Thomas Greiss to break the ice at the 8:03 mark of the final period. Mikko Koivu continued his hot streak by tying up the Coyotes center and kicking the puck back to Parise right off a face off for the assist.

Parise added an empty-net goal with just 44 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Koivu also assisted on that goal.

Jared Spurgeon scored the game-winning goal four minutes and 56 seconds after Parise got the Wild on the board. Spurgeon fired a one-time slap shot off a bounce from the boards that knuckled its way past Greiss. Greiss was waving his glove at the shot as rang off the back cross bar.

The Wild held the Coyotes to just three shots in third period, all coming in the final two minutes.

The Wild (38-26-11) were in the midst of a free fall that turned a comfortable lead in the wild card standings to the slimmest of leads with just a 4-5-4 record in 13 games in March.

The Wild are now three points ahead of the Coyotes for the top wild card spot and four points ahead the Dallas Stars, who won earlier in the night, for a playoff spot.

The Coyotes (36-27-12) managed to get the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov once and that took a fluky bounce off Mikkel Boedker and over the goaltender’s shoulder with the man advantage. The Wild’s penalty kill had struggled in recent games, but were outstanding on their final three man short opportunities.

The Wild return to action Monday against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Mikko Koivu. The Wild forward recorded two assists.

No. 2 - Jared Spurgeon. The Wild defenseman scored a goal.

No. 1 - Zach Parise. The Wild forward scored two goals.

Boxscore

Minnesota……0 0 3 - 3

Phoenix………1 0 0 - 1

First Period - 1, Phoenix, Boedker 19 (Doan, Ekman-Larsson) 3:19 (pp). Penalties - Bench, MIN (too many men; served by Fontaine), 2:28; Niederreiter, MIN (tripping), 13:42; Suter, MIN (slashing), 15:45; Hanzal, PHX (unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:45.

Second Period - None. Penalties - Koivu, MIN (interference), 3:45; Summers, PHX (interference), 14:43.

Third Period - 2, Minnesota, Parise 26 (Koivu), 8:03. 3, Minnesota, Spurgeon 5 (Pominville, Granlund), 12:57. 4, Minnesota, Parise 27 (Koivu), 19:17 (en). Penalties - Prosser, MIN (slashing), 5:02; Yandle, PHX, misconduct (10-minute), 19:17; Doan, PHX, misconduct (10-minute), 19:17.

Shots on goal - Minnesota 7-9-14 30. Phoenix 12-9-3 24.

Goalies - Minnesota, Bryzgalov (23-24). Phoenix, Greiss (27-29). Referees - Brad Watson, Brian Pochmara. Linesmen - Steve Miller, Bryan Pancich.

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