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SAINT PAUL, Minn. --The Arizona Coyotes wrap up a four-game road trip on Saturday afternn with a stop in snowy, frozen Minnesota to face one of the leagues hottest teams before returning to The Valley of the Sun.Minnesota is riding a six-game winning streak overall after a 5-2 win in Nashville on Thursday night to give the Wild at least a point in 11 of their last 12 games (8-1-3).Much of the credit for Minnesotas recent success goes to former Coyote and current Wild goaltender, Devan Dubnyk. The league leader in goals-against average and save percentage, Dubnyk is 8-0-2 in his past 10 starts with a 1.65 GAA and .944 save percentage.We werent at our best but our goalie was, Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said after Dubnyks 34-save performance against Nashville. It seems like he gets into that zone there and he says that nothing else is going to beat him.The Wild survived on three first-period goals and a pair of late empty netters against Nashville, relying on Dubnyk in between as the Predators outshot Minnesota 23-9 over the final two periods.Weve got a solid team and a great goalie right now, said veteran Minnesota center Eric Staal who scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season on Thursday. We got the job done, now weve got to keep going, big one on Saturday.It appears as though Arizona may catch a break as Wild backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper is expected to get the nod from Boudreau in Saturdays matinee match-up. Kuemper is 2-2-1 this season and was in goal for Minnesotas last regulation loss on Nov. 29 in Vancouver.Not that it would necessarily matter to Arizona, however, as the Coyotes have played well of late in St. Paul. While Minnesota has had the upper hand in the last 11 overall meetings between the clubs (8-1-2), Arizona is 7-2-2 in its last 11 visits to Xcel Energy Center.Boudreau knows full well what his team is up against.Ive played that team a lot and theyve always, always been a tough team to play against and I dont expect anything different, Boudreau said. (Arizona coach Dave Tippett) is a very structured coach and they will play their game. Its not going to be a cakewalk. If anybody thinks it is then theyre vastly mistaken.After dropping six in a row, the Coyotes have won three of four and two straight on this road trip after Thursdays 3-2 shtout win over Toronto. Much like the Wild, goaltending has been a huge factor in Arizonas surge.Coyotes starting goaltender Mike Smith stopped 125 of 129 shots in that trio of wins, including 44 against a Maple Leafs team whose offense has proven to be quite potent at Air Canada Center.He was really gd, excellent, Tippett said. Thats what youve seen from him the last little bit here. Were still giving up t many chances but hes been there to clean a lot of it up.Smith has indeed had a lot to clean up for an Arizona team allowing a league-high 35.8 shots per game. Despite playing just 16 games due to a knee injury costing him a dozen potential starts, Smith has faced 40 or more shots six times which leads the NHL.Smith set a career-high and a franchise record for saves in a game when he stopped 58 of 60 Columbus shots in a Dec. 3 shtout loss to the Blue Jackets. The 58 saves were also the most saves in a game by any NHL goalie this season and it was only the 4th time in the last 25 years a goalie had 58 saves or more in a regular season game.Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping . The defending champion beat Gael Monfils of France 7-6 (6), 6-3, while second-seeded Andy Murray of Britain dispatched Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also of France, 6-3, 6-3. Making his first appearance since injuring his wrist a month ago, Del Potro had difficulty with his service games in the first set. NFL Jerseys China . Thats not a comment on the suspension that banished the Portland Winterhawks general manager and coach from his Western Hockey League teams bench for most of the 2012-13 season. http://www.cheapchinajerseys.net/ . With Parker having a quiet game for once, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw provided the scoring as France won its first major basketball title by beating Lithuania 80-66 on Sunday. It was a victory that ended a decade of frustration for Parker and a talented French generation, which lost the final against Spain two years ago and tk bronze in 2005. Cheap Jerseys Online . -- Patrick Reed got an early start in golf. Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys . - Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds, J.COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the first time in five seasons under Urban Meyer, Ohio State lost a Big Ten regular-season road game. And its 20-game road winning streak also ended last Saturday night in State College, Pa., when Penn State pulled off a 24-21 upset.After a rare conference loss and a narrow overtime win on the road the previous week, the Buckeyes dropped from No. 2 to No. 6 in the latest Associated Press poll. They now trail Michigan by a game in the Big Ten East Division standings.It was the first defeat for Ohio State in October under Meyer, whose record dipped to a still-spectacular 56-5 with the Buckeyes.The gd news for Ohio State (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) is the loss doesnt damage its title aspirations. Win out the rest of the way, including a victory over Michigan in the traditional regular-season finale, and the Buckeyes will go to the Big Ten championship game in December in Indianapolis.Every goal is still alive, Meyer said after the loss. Were not a great team right now.Ohio State returns home this weekend to face Northwestern (4-3, 3-1) on Saturday (30 p.m. ET, ESPN) in the first of two straight games in Ohio Stadium that could define the season. The following Saturday, the Buckeyes play host to No. 7 Nebraska.Neither game figures to be easy. Northwestern brings a three-game winning streak to Columbus. Nebraska, which plays at Wisconsin this weekend in his first reason test of the season, is unbeaten.Wow, that is as improved a team as Ive ever seen from beginning to now, Meyer said of Northwestern. Theyve had three big wins with two on the road. Their defense is outstanding.While the Wildcats are on a roll, the Buckeyes are licking their wounds after falling at Penn State. Though the Buckeyes have lost only five times since Meyers first season in 2012, they do have some experience bouncing back from tough losses.Last year, they fell at home to Michigan State late in the season but responded the following week with a win over Michigan. In 2014, after the stunning early-season loss to Virginia Tech at home, Ohio State ran the table and won the College Ftball Playoff national championship.Meyers Ohio State teams have lost two straight only once -- in 2013 when the Buckeyes were beaten by Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game and Clemson in the Orange Bowl.We have to move forward, Meyer said. You have to let it hurt for a while. If you lose a game, youre not a loser. If you lose a game, you accept it. That was the message to our players. ... It happened, so move on and get ready for a very gd team coming iin here.ddddddddddddNorthwestern has rebounded after losing three of its first four games to start the season, winning three straight Big Ten games against Iowa, Michigan State and Indiana.Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald realizes the Buckeyes are a little different animal than their previous opponents.Now the heavy lifting starts, Fitzgerald said. Nobody has a stiffer challenge than us. We have to take on the Buckeyes.Northwestern has some weapons on offense to throw at Ohio State. Justin Jackson leads the Big Ten in rushing with 792 yards, Austin Carr is the conferences leading receiver with 50 catches for 720 yards and nine touchdowns, and Clayton Thorson is the third-leading passer, averaging 240.9 yards per game with 14 touchdowns.On defense, Columbus-area native Godwin Igwebuike is sixth in the Big Ten in tackles and Ohio native Ifeadi Odenigbo leads the conference in sacks with eight.Odenigbo definitely will catch Ohio States attention after the offensive line struggled against Penn States pass rush, giving up six sacks.The Buckeyes uncharacteristically let a 21-7 lead slip away against the Nittany Lions, when they were outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter.Ohio State outgunned Penn State 413-276 in total yards and had a 17-minute advantage in time of possession, yet still couldnt come away with a win.The loss raised questions about Ohio States passing games -- in particular its offensive line play -- that had been bubbling toward the surface the past two games. Quarterback J.T. Barrett doesnt believe its a catastrophic issue.Overall, the passing game, I think we put our O-line in bad spots early on in drives, so we were second-and-long, said Barrett, who is closing in on a Big Ten career record with 90 combined touchdowns rushing and passing. I think that harmed us.Meyer doesnt expect any personnel changes this week on the offensive line, which gave up two sacks at the end of the game that stopped Ohio States final drive.There are a multitude of things (that went wrong), Meyer said. We did not play very well in a couple of areas on offense. What do you do? You identify it and work on it.(The offense) has regressed a little bit. Certainly there were plays to be made. If we hk up on those plays, we go on and win the game.Ohio State is a three-touchdown favorite to get back on track against Northwestern, which hasnt visited Columbus since 2007 and has lost 29 of the last 30 games between the teams. ' ' '
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