NHL: Phoenix 4, Minnesota 2

Dec. 31, 2011 at 9:05 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Radim Vrbata scored consecutive goals in the third period Saturday, boosting the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 decision over Minnesota.

Vrbata's tally 4:15 into the final period came from a sharp angle to the left of Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, breaking a 1-1 tie.

He found the net again 2 minutes later when his wraparound shot beat a diving Backstrom, and the Coyotes held on to snap a season-worst four-game losing streak.

Daymond Langkow scored an unassisted goal and Ray Whitney added an empty-netter for Phoenix.

Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves, including several point-blank shots in the final period, to pull out the victory.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored and Matt Cullen added a penalty-shot goal for Minnesota, which lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Backstrom ended with 26 stops for the Wild.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Tiger Woods' playing partner Steve Stricker wants the 'old Tiger back'
Texas Rangers' Hamilton promises cautious approach
Love: 'I'm going back to Cleveland'
San Antonio Spurs, Leonard agree to 5-year, $90M deal
New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis agree to 5-year, $145M extension