Vrbata guides Coyotes over Wild

By
Updated: November 28, 2013

St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) – Radim Vrbata lit the lamp twice as the
Phoenix Coyotes defeated the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, at Xcel Energy Center.

Mikkel Boedker added the other goal and Derek Morris had two assists in the
win. Thomas Greiss made 28 saves as the Coyotes snapped a three-game losing
streak.

“We lost three in a row and if you let it slide, you will be behind. We wanted
to make sure we got those two points tonight,” said Vrbata on the win.

Dany Heatley notched Minnesota’s only goal halfway through the third with Nino
Niederreiter and Kyle Brodziak picking up the assists. Niklas Backstrom made
23 saves for Minnesota, which saw its six-game home winning streak come to an
end.

“It’s tough no matter who you are playing, let alone a solid, defensive-
structured team like Phoenix. You get yourself in a hole, 2-0, it’s tough in
this league to battle back,” said Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard.

The Wild were dominant at home, going 10-1-2 before facing the Coyotes.

Shane Doan was not expected to play after leaving Monday’s game against
Nashville with a lower-body injury, but the captain was in the lineup for the
Coyotes.

Doan shoveled a pass through the neutral zone up to Boedker, who faked the
pass and fired a well-placed shot over the glove of Backstrom to give Phoenix
the lead 8:12 into the first.

Tim Kennedy slipped a pass from the right corner to Vrbata, who quickly
wristed a shot at 3:42 of the second.

Minnesota was without the help of Zach Parise, who is expected to miss
2-to-3 weeks with a foot contusion after blocking a shot against St. Louis on
Monday.

The Wild did not get on the board until 10:02 of the third when Heatley drove
a rebound into the back of the net. Niederreiter took a shot from the blue
line that bounced off the helmet of Greiss and to a waiting Heatley.

Backstrom was pulled with 30 seconds remaining and Vrbata found the back of
the empty net on the power play.

Game Notes

Phoenix is now 6-0-2 with an eight-game point streak at Xcel Energy Center
over the past four seasons … Ballard returned to the lineup after
missing nine games with an upper-body injury … Minnesota will host Colorado
on Friday, while Phoenix will play Chicago at home on Saturday.