|Coyotes continue historic road trip against Wild|
The Arizona Coyotes made history by defeating the Capitals in Washington on Monday night and the Blues in St. Louis the next evening.
Two wins in two nights -- both on the road -- against the previous two teams to hoist the Stanley Cup. An unprecedented achievement.
There had been 69 occurrences when a team had faced the past two champs in back-to-back road games in league history, but Arizona became the first franchise to emerge with two victories.
Arizona continues its three-game road trip with a stop in Minnesota against the Wild on Thursday.
Completing the second half of their historic double didn't seem likely for the Coyotes.
After a 4-3 shootout win in Washington, they ran into travel problems from the nation's capital and didn't get to their St. Louis hotel until shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday.
But Conor Garland scored in regulation to tie it at 2, and he and Nick Schmaltz tallied in the shootout to earn the two points.
Goalie Darcy Kuemper turned aside both St. Louis tries to complete the comeback win.
"I'm proud of the guys," coach Rick Tocchet said. "The circumstances, the tough schedule, not much sleep, and that's a hell of a hockey club over there. A little bit of rope-a-dope, and it was nice to win this game."
Garland, 23, has been a driving force for Arizona by leading the team with eight goals in 19 games.
Minnesota hasn't had the kind of success the Coyotes have experienced.
Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Kings in Los Angeles left both teams at 6-11-1 -- the worst records in the NHL.
The Wild lost their first four games to open the season, putting the club in an uphill climb that it has never been fully able to mount through 18 games.
Thursday's game with Arizona is a rematch from Saturday's match in the desert. The Wild won that one, 4-3, but they didn't do it in conventional fashion.
They watched the Coyotes race out to a 3-1 lead but rallied to tie it behind goals from Kevin Fiala and Matt Dumba, and Ryan Hartman scored early in the third to complete the rally against Arizona and Kuemper.
Minnesota's four tallies marked the first time an opponent had put up a four-spot against Kuemper since the Chicago Blackhawks notched a 7-1 win over the Coyotes on March 11.
Kuemper's streak of yielding fewer than four goals had reached 23 games, all of them starts.
"It's great that we're playing OK, but when you dig yourself a hole like we've done, you can't win one, lose one the rest of the way," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "You got to put a little run together, and so far we haven't done that."
Dumba has recorded goals in two consecutive games for Minnesota, which went 2-2-0 on its road trip.
--Field Level Media