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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00 BRT, November 30, 2021
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota  Attendance: 16,239

Ryan Hartman, Wild aim to extend hot streaks vs. Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild

  1. Minnesota has won its last seven games against Arizona, all by three goals or more. This is the first time that one NHL team has recorded seven consecutive wins by a three-goal or larger margin against another club since the original Winnipeg Jets had a seven-game streak against Toronto from March 1982 to December 1983.
  2. The Coyotes were 0-9-1 in their first ten road games this season but they've won all three of their road games since then (at St. Louis, Los Angeles and Winnipeg), each by a one-goal margin. That ties the Jets/Coyotes franchise record for consecutive one-goal road wins, done three times before (most recently in 2018-19).
  3. Rookie Karel Vejmelka posted his first NHL shutout with a 1-0 victory at Winnipeg last night in which he made 46 saves. That matches the highest save total in a shutout by a rookie goaltender over the last 35 seasons. The other 46-save shutouts by rookies since 1986-87 were by Juuse Saros (Dec. 14, 2017) and MacKenzie Blackwood (Feb. 6, 2020).
  4. Minnesota has scored 48 even-strength goals in November (in 13 games), at least nine more than any other NHL team (Washington is second with 39).
  5. Ryan Hartman has scored a goal in each of the Wild's last three games. Hartman has had one other three-game goal-scoring streak in his NHL career, as a rookie with the Blackhawks in February 2017.
  6. Cam Talbot is 15-6-1 with a 2.17 GAA, .931 save percentage and one shutout in 23 career games against the Coyotes. Talbot has more wins versus Arizona than any other NHL team.

As the Minnesota Wild eclipsed the one-quarter mark of the season, the identity of their leading goal-scorer is a one of the league's biggest surprises.

Heading into a Tuesday clash against the visiting Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota's offensive attack is being led by 12-goal scorer Ryan Hartman. His pace would obliterate his career-high for goals in a season -- the 19 he tallied during his rookie campaign with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016-17.

"Did we see potential? Sure. That's why he's playing the minutes that he's playing. That's why he's playing where he's playing," Wild coach Dean Evason said. "Not that we gave him anything. He earned everything ... and he's getting rewarded because of it."

Hartman, who has scored in three consecutive games and tallied five times in his past six outings, will look to add to his totals when the Central Division-leading Wild try to extend their three-game winning streak on Tuesday.

While the Wild, who beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Sunday and boast the second-best record (14-6-1) through 21 games in franchise history, are known as a defense-first team, their offensive play is turning heads. Minnesota has scored four or more goals in five of its past six games.

"There's so much movement and creativity, and obviously I think Kirill (Kaprizov) and Zuccy (Mats Zuccarello) are really at the forefront of that," Wild forward Rem Pitlick said. "We're a very strong, straight-line team with a lot of speed, but there's so much creativity. ...

"It's just really cool to be a part of it because it's both sides of the coin. It's kind of like a combination of North American and European (styles) here."

The Coyotes sit last in the Central Division, but are coming off a 1-0 road victory over the struggling Winnipeg Jets on Monday as rookie goaltender Karel Vejmelka stopped 46 shots for his first NHL shutout. The Coyotes have won three of five games as part of a 4-2-1 run after winning only once in their first 15 games.

Vejmelka was especially strong while the Coyotes killed six penalties, five of them in the third period, although that definitely was a team-wide performance that Arizona will try to build off going forward.

"It's fun to win the game that way because our (penalty-killing unit) was challenged early in the season and made good strides," Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. "We needed them. I think there was eight minutes we were short-handed in the third period, and they made the difference. They made a lot of blocked shots and closed on the blue line very well. We got some momentum from them, and I'm really proud of them."

Arizona likely will turn to No. 1 netminder Scott Wedgewood against the Wild.

It has been a tough season for the Coyotes, but they received a big boost with Christian Fischer returning to the lineup against Winnipeg after missing seven games due to an upper-body injury. The talented forward gave the team a boost of speed and energy, notably on the forecheck and on the penalty kill.

"Any time you miss an extended amount of games, your first shift or two, things come quick," Fischer said. "You can't practice at that speed. As the game went on, I felt good."

He felt even better after a win.

"I'd rather not kill that many penalties, but I'm really proud of our group," Fischer said. "I know I'm just coming back, but, gosh, that felt good. That was a grinding and mucky win."

--Field Level Media

Updated November 30, 2021

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