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Wild's defensive breakdowns result in 7-2 blowout loss at Winnipeg

Sarah Mclellan, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Hockey

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Jets center Bryan Little arrived at the front of the crease and waved his stick.

Teammate Ben Chiarot read the signal.

But the Wild didn't.

So when the puck was sent to the net, Little had ample room to redirect it in -- capitalizing on one of many defensive breakdowns by the Wild in a 7-2 rout by the Jets, the team's most lopsided loss of the season.

Although it was another loss to a rival, this wasn't the same blue line that struggled in a 6-3 loss to the Blues on Saturday.

Top-pair minute muncher Jared Spurgeon was out, sidelined with a groin strain, and Ryan Murphy made his Wild debut after getting called up from Iowa of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.

 

And it looked like the reconfigured back end could be spending much of the night in its own zone after the Jets made an early push.

But the Wild weathered it and eventually found a groove at the other end of the ice.

Center Charlie Coyle led a three-on-one rush and set up winger Jason Zucker, who lifted a backhand over Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck 8 minutes, 1 second into the first period for his team-leading 13th goal.

Less than five minutes later, it looked like Coyle had orchestrated another goal. His breakaway shot was stopped, but winger Zack Mitchell buried the rebound. But after the Jets issued a coach's challenge, video review showed Coyle was off-side on the play to negate the goal.

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