With Guillaume Latendresse's first career hat trick leading the way, the Wild didn't even begin to score until the 17:38 mark of the second period, and even with that, the Wild still were outscored 4-3 in the third period by the Coyotes, who won their second straight and 18th of the season at home overall.
Ed Jovanoski, Phoenix's 'senior' defenseman, thumbed his nose and collected four assists on the night, while the 'Yotes Petr Prucha scored twice and added an assist, just two of nine different Phoenix players padding their point totals this evening.
For the Wild, the first two periods were a higher-speed version of Thursday's game in St. Louis, as thru two periods, they had only managed the one goal and 12 shots on Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The top line for the Wild -- Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen, and Andrew Brunette, a.k.a. "Two Blondes and a Brunette" -- were a combined -13 on the evening, with Bruno leading the 'retreat' at a -5, an all-time record bad night for a single Wild player. The Wild were found chasing the faster Coyotes around the ice all night, even when they made their push to get back in the game, and that was the difference, for as we all know:
Now that the Wild are back with the pack (they fell to 11th with tonight's loss) in the NHL's Western Conference, they better not look behind them, especially as to their opponent in the NEXT GAME: at Dallas, Monday, Jan. 18, 7:00 PM Central Time, American Airlines Center. (TV: Versus, TSN2 (in HD); XM NHL Home Ice, Ch. 204).
Note: For those of you in the Twin Cities Metro Area, there are organized watch parties available for those of you affected by the Versus-DirecTV dispute. For locations, please see http://www.wild.com/ .