Wild waste lead, rebound to nip Panthers

St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Charlie Coyle broke a tie in the thirdperiod and the Minnesota Wild fended off the Florida Panthers, 3-2, at XcelEnergy Center.

A 2-0 Minnesota lead evaporated in the third on goals by Tomas Kopecky andJonathan Huberdeau, the latter coming at the 8:59 mark.

Coyle, however, put the Wild back in front less than four minutes later. MikkoKoivu sent a pass from the behind the Florida net out front to Coyle and hebeat Tim Thomas from just outside the crease at 11:38.

Zach Parise and Jason Pominville both scored in the first period forMinnesota, which has won five straight home games. The Wild are also 9-1-1since a shootout loss to the Panthers in Florida on Oct. 19.

Koivu had two assists and Josh Harding made 22 saves.

Thomas stopped 17 shots for the Panthers, who have lost nine straight roadgames since opening the season with a win at Dallas. Florida ended an 0-5-4slide Tuesday against Anaheim.

Kopecky potted a feed from Jesse Winchester 3:31 into the third, thenHuberdeau jumped on a puck in the slot and ripped a shot high over Harding.

The Wild opened the scoring on a power play as Parise, stationed to Thomas'right, directed in Koivu's diagonal feed from the top of the right circle atthe 4:59 mark.

Pominville doubled the advantage off another stellar pass. Nino Niederreiterstraddled the Florida blue line to stay onside and made a drop pass todefenseman Jared Spurgeon, who joined the rush. Spurgeon then sent the puckcross-ice to Pominville and he flicked it over Thomas from the right side with6:22 remaining.

Game Notes

Jesse Winchester returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspensionfor elbowing ... Florida began a five-game road trip ... The Panthers haveonly one win in seven games all-time against the Wild in Minnesota.


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