ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Eric Staal and Mikael Grandlund scored and Devan Dubnyk stopped 27 of 28 shots to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Brendan Perlini scored and Darcy Kuemper stopped 30 shots in his season debut for Arizona. Kuemper was making his first appearance against the franchise that drafted him in 2009. He spent parts of five seasons in Minnesota before leaving as a free agent in 2017.
Staal scored the game-winner with 13:42 to play by converting after a mad scramble in front of the net. After Kuemper stopped Ryan Suter’s initial shot, Jason Zucker tapped it across the crease to Staal, who buried it for his second goal of the season.
The Coyotes entered the night having scored just two goals in four games, including three shutout losses. But they opened the scoring midway through the first period when Perlini scored his first of the season on the power play.
With Greg Pateryn in the box for hooking, Perlini took a pass below the right circle, walked in on Dubnyk and flicked the puck over the goalie’s left shoulder.
The Wild tied it early in the second on Granlund’s second goal of the season. Granlund gathered a pass from Jared Spurgeon near the blue line, skated into the high slot and fired a wrist shot that appeared to fool Kuemper, beating him on the glove side.
Kuemper atoned for that miss just minutes later with a sprawling save to rob Staal on a 3-on-1. He later stopped a one-timer by Zach Parise, who was alone at the left post after taking a pass from Charlie Coyle.
NOTES: Wild captain Mikko Koivu missed the game to attend the birth of his third child. . Minnesota F Matt Hendricks crawled off the ice and limped to the locker room in the last minute of the first period. He did not return. . F Josh Archibald played his first game of the season for Arizona. He missed the previous four games with a lower-body injury.
Coyotes: Arizona travels to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Thursday night.
Wild: Minnesota visits Dallas on Friday.
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