ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Arizona Coyotes came back late in regulation and won in a shootout on Monday night. Coach Dave Tippett didn’t want to move past his displeasure with the early deficit, though.
Not even matching last season’s win total before the All-Star break was enough to perk up Tippett.
Recovering from a lacklustre first two periods, Antoine Vermette scored short-handed with 1:13 left in regulation, Anthony Duclair had the only goal in the shootout and goaltender Louis Domingue made 34 saves to lift Arizona over the Minnesota Wild 2-1.
The dramatic ending salvaged Arizona on a night when it was outshot 24-6 over the first two periods.
“If you leave it like that, you’re not going to win many games,” Tippett said. “We weren’t very good, right to a man. We weren’t mentally and physically engaged the way we needed to be. That being said, weren’t giving up a ton, Domingue gave us a heck of game and we got a break at the end to get it tied.”
Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves in his final start before heading to his first All-Star Game. Charlie Coyle got his third goal in three games with 9:40 left but was stopped to end the game in the shootout.
Surrendering another late goal hurt the Wild. Minnesota’s 4-3 loss Saturday in San Jose came on Joe Pavelski’s score with 1:24 remaining, and the Wild also gave up the tying goal to Anaheim with 6:19 left in an eventual 3-1 loss on Jan. 20.
“Right now, when the game’s on the line, we’re not making the winning play,” Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. “Whether it’s protecting a lead, whether it’s getting a lead, when the game’s tied, right now we’re not making the winning play. That’s what we have to fix here.”
Domingue stopped all three shooters he faced in the shootout to help Arizona win its second straight and Duclair added the first shootout goal of his career.
The two rookies stand as big reasons the Coyotes have matched last year’s win total at 24-19-5. Domingue has played in 16 of the past 18 games and is 9-4-3 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Duclair has 12 goals and 12 assists and fellow rookie Max Domi has 13 goals and 19 assists.
“That’s not hard to do,” Tippett quipped about equaling last year’s win total. “We’ve played better this year. Look at the simple impact that our young players had on this game. They’re helping grow this organization.”
Arizona thought it had the winner in overtime when Michael Stone’s slap shot found the back of the net, but forward Mikkel Boedker was called for contact with Dubnyk. Boedker slid across the crease to screen Dubnyk and appeared to make contact prior to Stone’s shot.
The Coyotes took nearly 13 minutes to get their first shot in the second and had just two attempts on goal during the period.
“We only had six shots, which was pretty much embarrassing,” Duclair said. “So we had to get shots on net and create traffic in front, and good things happen.”
In the second, Chris Porter was denied on a short-handed breakaway. Jason Pominville’s wide-open shot from the slot was gloved by Domingue. Coyle had the puck poked away by the netminder on another 1-on-1 opportunity.
In five January home games, Minnesota has scored seven goals total.
“Probably as tough as you’re going to see,” Wild forward Zach Parise said of a tough loss entering the break. “A lot of good offensive zone time, a lot of good chances. Same story.”
NOTES: Coyle’s 13th goal of the season is his career-high. He had 12 goals in 70 games 2013-14 and 11 goals in 82 games last season. Coyotes D Nicklas Grossman missed his second straight game with an illness. Arizona F Shane Doan passed Mike Gartner for 25th in games played in NHL history on Saturday, skating in the 1,433rd game of his career. During the game, the Wild assigned F Jordan Schroeder and D Tyson Strachan to the American Hockey League with the All-Star break upcoming.