The Wild aren’t eliminated just yet from playoff contention, but they would need something miraculous to happen to make it following their 4-0 loss at the hands of the Coyotes. A game that both teams needed a victory in since they are both chasing down Colorado who holds the final Wild Card, but Sunday night, it just wasn’t meant to be or the Wild. I think Eric Staal put it best. He said afterwards that “we’re not stupid. This was big. It hurts to lose it”.
Early on, the Wild looked to get a much important first goal of the game, but it would strike iron off the stick of Kevin Fiala. Right after the Wild had killed off their first power-play of the game, there would be a scrum in front of Devan Dubnyk, the first of many in this very physical net front presence style of game. However, Arizona would get on the board first as Dubnyk was slow trying to cover up a loose puck in front and Alex Galchenyuk would bury his 18th of the season to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead just before the eight minute mark. Just about a minute later, the Wild would have a 3-on-1, and you already know what’s happening if you’re a true Wild fan. Yet another odd man rush with no shot to show for to generate a scoring chance. 1-0 after one period of play.
In the middle stanza, the Wild would have 90 seconds to kill off a power-play, which they did, but would get their shot on the man advantage moments later, and could only muster up a shot with tons of turnovers to show for. But it seemed like after that power-play a spark would light up for roughly five or so minutes of domination by the Wild truly testing Darcy Kuemper. However, the would not be able to beat him in that rush. With time winding down in the period, Josh Archibald would make the Wild pay after a Ryan Suter turnover to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead going into the third period. 20 minutes left for the Wild to salvage their season and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Wild would start the period out by generating a chance on a 3-on-2 for once, but would go wide of Kuemper to keep it 2-0. With the Wild short-handed, Staal and Suter would have a chance to muster something up, but Staal would try and find Suter in front, but the chance was blocked. A huge skirmish would ensue following a chance late in the game after Hunt was robbed showing the frustration the Wild have at this point in the season. Dubnyk would head to the bench with just under three minutes left hoping for the Wild to score twice to push this game to overtime. However, with the net empty, Arizona would add two empty-net goals. One by Archibald, and another by Vinnie Hinostroza to put the icing on the cake for the victory and possibly the Wild’s season.