NHL: Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello look to stay hot vs. Coyotes


The Minnesota Wild continue their six-game homestand Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Coyotes in St. Paul, Minn.

The Wild have split the first four games following a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

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Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello each scored and set up a goal and Alex Goligoski had two assists for Minnesota.

Zuccarello’s goal with 3:34 left in the third period pulled the Wild within 4-3 but they couldn’t get the equalizer.

“We had the looks,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “Everything was executed correctly from whenever we pulled (goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury), four (minutes) and a bit, we definitely gave ourselves a chance at the end.”

Kaprizov extended his point streak to eight games (four goals, seven assists) and Zuccarello has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last eight games.

Fleury made 24 saves in his return after missing three games with an upper-body injury. He would have liked another chance at Zach Aston-Reese’s goal that made it 2-1.

“I thought we played good,” Fleury said. “That second goal is on me. It’s definitely a stupid goal. I think I stepped out. But other than that, I thought we played good. The penalty kill was pretty good (3-for-3), and the battle back at the end.”

Forward Ryan Reaves, acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on Wednesday, was minus-1 with four hits and one shot in 12:03 of ice time during his Minnesota debut.

Defenseman Jonas Brodin missed his second straight game with an illness.

Fleury is 15-9-1 with a 2.14 goals-against-average, .921 save percentage and three shutouts in his career against Arizona.

The Coyotes are coming off a 4-3 loss as well, although they managed to secure a point in a shootout loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

Jakob Chychrun tied the game 3-3 with 26 seconds left in the third period on a shot that deflected off a Red Wings defenseman. It was the first goal of the season for Chychrun, playing just his third game following offseason wrist surgery.

“I’ve had a lot of good looks in these first few games, and I’ve just tried to keep shooting,” Chychrun said. “If I keep putting the puck on net, I know eventually they will go in.”

Nick Schmaltz joined Chychrun by collecting a goal and an assist and J.J. Moser scored for Arizona, which is 4-3-2 on a 14-game road trip.

“A year ago, we probably would have celebrated getting a point on the road or four out of six, but right now we are very frustrated,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “We want to win these games, not just get a point.”

Clayton Keller had an assist and has totaled 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 19 games.

Karel Vejmelka made 33 saves in the loss and has two shutouts in his past five games. He is 1-1 with a 4.84 GAA and .867 save percentage in two career games against the Wild.

–Field Level Media

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