The Wild were constantly forced to chase the puck and did not get a chance to possess it.
“They did a pretty good job in the neutral zone spreading us out and using the whole width of the ice,” Jason Pominville said. “They were able to either skate in with control or get it behind us. They clogged it up pretty good. They had four or five guys back all the time. They made it tough on us. I think we were better as the game went on, but our start wasn’t what it needed to be.”
The Coyotes (15-6-4) dominated the first period and held a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal, but clearly had the better of the scoring chances and time on the attack.
Mikkel Boedker got the Coyotes on the board first with the only goal of the opening period with a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Niklas Backstrom while on a 2-on-1 rush.
Radim Vrbata scores his first of two goals in the game in the second period to score what seemed like an insurmountable two-goal lead. He found some space in traffic in front of the net and fired a shot over Backstrom’s right shoulder. He later added an empty net, power play goal with 23 seconds remaining in regulation to seal the victory.
Dany Heatley got the Wild on the board midway through the third period by knocking a rebound past Coyotes goaltender Thomas Greiss. Heatley now has three games in the last five games for the Wild.
The Wild (15-7-4) entered game without Zach Parise already, but then lost Mikael Granlund in his first shift further depleting the scoring depth.
“Other guys are capable of stepping up,” Charlie Coyle said. “There is no excuse for that it happens all the time.
“To drop a guy first shift, it kind of screws everything up a bit. You can’t make excuses about it.”
The Wild return to action Friday against the Colorado Avalanche at the Xcel Energy Center.
No. 3 - Dany Heatley. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 2 - Mikkel Boedker. The Coyotes forward scored a goal.
No. 1 - Radim Vrbata. The Coyotes forward scored two goals.
Phoenix……..1 1 1 - 3
Minnesota…..0 0 1 - 1
First Period - 1, Phoenix, Boedker 5 (Doan, Morris), 8:13. Penalties - Mitchell, MIN (interference), 13:58; Yandle, PHX (roughing), 15:42; Cooke, MIN (roughing), 15:42.
Second Period - 2, Phoenix, Vrbata 7 (Kennedy, Schlemko), 3:42. Penalties - Ribeiro, PHX (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:21; Halpern, PHX (tripping), 17:23.
Third Period - 3, Minnesota, Heatley 5 (Niederreiter, Brodziak), 10:02. 4, Phoenix, Vrbata 8 (Hanzal, Vermette), 19:37 (pp-en). Penalties - Brodziak, MIN (interference), 19:15.
Shots on goal - Phoenix 12-3-11 26. Minnesota 5-10-14 29.
Goalies - Phoenix, Greiss (28-29). Minnesota, Backstrom (23-25). Referees - Chris Lee, Don VanMassenhoven. Linesmen - Brian Mach, Thor Nelson.