Wild equal franchise record point streak, fall in overtime to Coyotes

TEMPE, ARIZ. – The Wild’s climb has reached a historic height.

Despite blowing a late lead, they kept their nearly monthlong tear going on Sunday by earning a point in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Coyotes in front of 4,600 at Mullett Arena on the Arizona State University campus to tie the franchise record for longest point streak at 13 games.

“Obviously, lately we’ve done a really good job of closing those games out,” Mason Shaw said. “Just didn’t quite get that done tonight.”

This 10-0-3 blitz is the Wild’s best since they went 12-0-1 from Dec. 2 to Dec. 29, 2016.

Not only are the team’s 10 victories and 23 points tops in the NHL since the run began on Feb. 17, but the Wild are just one point back of Dallas for the top spot in the Central Division.

They’ve also kept this streak going without leading scorer Kirill Kaprizov, sitting 1-0-1 since it was announced Kaprizov is expected to be sidelined three to four weeks with a lower-body injury he sustained last Wednesday at Winnipeg.

“Race for playoff spots is on,” Ryan Reaves said. “Teams are chasing. Teams are trying to get in. Teams are trying to get position. Every little point matters, so picking up at least one is big for us.”

Clayton Keller sealed the second point for Arizona after helping the team snag the first.

He served up the equalizer 12 minutes, 6 seconds into the third period before pouncing on a rebound in the crease that slipped through Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson with 51 seconds left in overtime to cap off the Coyotes’ comeback.

“I thought it hit my right blocker hand there,” said Gustavsson, who made 18 saves. “Usually, you feel when it trickles through and falls behind you. I didn’t feel it, so I kind of did a quick look and couldn’t see it.”

This was the first time in 11 games the Wild surrendered more than two goals, an atypical performance in their own end that coincided with an uptick of depth scoring at the other end.

Reaves finished with a Gordie Howe hat trick, Connor Dewar posted a goal and assist, and Shaw set up both of his linemates’ tallies. Mats Zuccarello and Matt Boldy also scored, their second goals in as many games after capitalizing in the 5-2 win at San Jose on Saturday.

The Wild also finished the game without Marcus Foligno, who exited in the third period with a lower-body injury.

“It’s serious enough that he couldn’t come back,” coach Dean Evason said.

Arizona was ahead after just 1:28 when Barrett Hayton sent the game’s first shot top-shelf over Gustavsson. That wrapped Gustavsson’s shutout streak at 177:13, the third longest in team history.

“It’s hard to get the rhythm going,” he said.

Zuccarello responded at 5:32 with his 22nd goal, a five-hole shot from the right side, before Hayton retook the lead for the Coyotes on their first of two power plays at 12 minutes. But the two sides were tied going into the first intermission because Reaves directed in a Shaw shot with 1:25 to go for his second goal of the season, this after Reaves dropped the gloves with Arizona’s Bokondji Imama earlier in the period.

Boldy’s breakaway 1:50 into the second put the Wild up 3-2, and Dewar doubled that advantage at 14:59 when he flung the puck by Coyotes goalie Karel Vejmelka from between the circles; the pass came from Shaw, who also fought that period, and Reaves assist sealed his Gordie Howe hat trick.

“I don’t even know if I ever had one,” Reaves said.

In total, their line combined for six points and the Wild have had all four lines and seven different players chip in during their two games without Kaprizov. Their power play went 0-for-4.

“We just kept it simple,” Shaw said. “I think that’s something we try to do most nights. Obviously, when a few go to the back of the net, it feels good.”

But Arizona continued to be opportunistic.

With 1:12 to go in the second period, Brett Ritchie converted on a one-timer as he crashed the net before the Coyotes’ fourth goal from Keller came on the team’s 18th shot of the evening. At the other end, Vejmelka was solid the rest of the way en route to a 30-save showing.

“It’s not like we were loose,” Evason said. “We didn’t give up a whole ton, but what we did was very quality.”