Recap: Wild 4, Coyotes 1
Wild 4, Coyotes 1: Rookie Justin Fontaine recorded his first career hat trick and Niklas Backstrom turned aside 39 shots as visiting Minnesota secured its second four-game winning streak of the season.Kyle Brodziak collected a goal and an assist while Matt Cooke and Nino Niederreiter each set up a pair of tallies for the Wild, who also won four straight from Nov. 9-17.Mikkel Boedker netted his team-leading 14th goal and third in as many contests, but the Coyotes fell for the ninth time in 12 games (3-5-4).With the contest tied at 1-1, Brodziak chipped the puck ahead of pinching Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle at center ice before his wrist shot from the right faceoff circle handcuffed Mike Smith (25 saves) at 3:21 of the third period. Fontaine provided insurance 4 1/2 minutes later by taking advantage of a carom off the boards following a dump-in for an uncontested power-play tally before adding an empty-net goal to complete his hat trick.The Wild drew first blood with 1:19 remaining in the first period as Fontaine intercepted Yandle's backhanded clearing attempt before sizing up his shot and beating Smith. Boedker forged a tie by backhanding the puck past Backstrom for a power-play goal 2:04 into the second.GAME NOTEBOOK: Phoenix D Oliver Ekman-Larsson returned to the lineup after a two-game absence due to an upper-body injury. The Coyotes were without C Kyle Chipchura, who missed his first contest of the season with a lower-body injury. ... Boedker also tallied in the Coyotes' 3-1 win over the Wild on Nov. 27. ... Cooke has collected six assists in his last seven contests while Niederreiter extended his point streak to four games.
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