Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Arizona leads 2-1

Game 1: Monday, December 15th
Wild5Final
Coyotes2
Game 2: Friday, January 9th
Coyotes2Final
Wild0
Game 3: Sunday, March 7th
Wild1Final
OT
Coyotes1
Game 4: Monday, March 22nd
Coyotes3Final
OT
Wild2

Wild 1

(21-26-2, 63 pts)

Coyotes 1

(20-27-5, 61 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 7, 2004

Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 OT T
MIN 1 0 0 01
ARI 1 0 0 01

B. Johnson (Coyotes - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .968

D. Roloson (Wild - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .962

R. Suchy (Coyotes - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Phoenix kills off three third-period penalties

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Brent Johnson's Phoenix debut wasn't all he hoped for, but it was just enough for the Coyotes.

Johnson, acquired Friday from St. Louis, made 30 saves as the Coyotes tied the Minnesota Wild 1-1 Sunday night.

"I told myself before the game to play with a lot of competitiveness, but also to have some fun," Johnson said.

Ivan Novoseltsev scored for the Coyotes, 0-4-2-2 in their last eight games. Phoenix is 2-12-2-3 since consecutive wins against San Jose and Detroit in late January.

"We're teetering. We're close, but what's going to push us is that mental toughness," said interim coach Rick Bowness, who is 0-3-1-2 since taking over for Bobby Francis on Feb. 24. "Our defense is good for the most part, but why not for 60 minutes? That's mental toughness."

Dwayne Roloson made 25 saves and Andrew Brunette scored his team-leading 13th goal for the Wild, 0-4-3 in their last seven games. The Wild are 0-2-19 in overtime this season, five ties short of Philadelphia's 34-year-old league record.

"It looks like we love them," said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire. "I'd love to win one. We're getting close, but we don't win any,"

Johnson kept the game even as Phoenix killed three third-period penalties, including Mike Rupp's double-minor for high-sticking, as well as an abbreviated 31.9-second power play in overtime.

"We started a little slow, there's no doubt," Lemaire said. "But we picked it up in the second and third periods."

Novoseltsev gave Phoenix an early 1-0 lead. Novoseltsev, playing in his second game after missing 19 with a concussion, took a pass from Chris Gratton behind the Minnesota defense and stumbled before gaining control just outside the blue line.

After taking two strides to regain his balance, Novoseltsev skated untouched on Roloson and scored his second goal at 4:42 of the first period.

"I was kind of surprised," Novoseltsev said. "It was a good pass and the defense made a mistake."

Minnesota tied the game late in the period when Brunette took a shot that deflected off defenseman Radoslav Suchy's skate and past Johnson.

"I was following it across, but once I realized it didn't make it across it was between my legs," Johnson said.

Phoenix's Fredrik Sjostrom had a chance for a second Coyotes goal, but his long wrist shot bounced off the crossbar and the back of Roloson's right leg before skidding harmlessly away.

"We needed anything positive we could get and I think we played a pretty good game," Brunette said.<

Notes: Novoseltsev's other goal came Oct. 24 against Minnesota as a member of the Florida Panthers. ... Minnesota, which tied Los Angeles 1-1 on Thursday, is 9-5-4 in games following ties. ... Rupp, acquired by Phoenix from New Jersey on Friday, was also making his Coyotes debut. ... The Wild are 1-10-5-0 against the Pacific Division, with the lone win coming Dec. 15 at Phoenix.<

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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