PHOENIX (AP) -- Shane Doan has been right in the middle of the Phoenix Coyotes' turnaround.
When Doan struggled to find his place as the left wing on the Coyotes' top line, Phoenix stumbled to a 3-6-0-1 start. But since Doan moved to center on what had been the Coyotes' second line, Phoenix has won three of four. The latest was a 4-1 victory Thursday night over the Minnesota Wild.
"I just wasn't playing my best hockey before," Doan said. "Now I am. I feel like I'm moving my feet a little better and that helps me contribute a lot offensively."
Doan scored twice during the Coyotes' three-goal first period -- including his 100th career goal -- and linemate Landon Wilson had a goal and two assists.
"In the four years I've been here it seems like Shane thrives when you put him with people conducive to his style of play," Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "(Moving to center) has given him more freedom and more chance to skate around."
Claude Lemieux also scored for the Coyotes, who avenged a 6-1 home loss to the Wild on Oct. 26.
"We were better prepared for Minnesota this game than we were the last one," Francis said.
Pascal Dupuis scored for the Wild, who entered the game 3-0-2 in their first five road games.
Manny Fernandez lasted only one period for Minnesota en route to his second straight loss after a 6-0 start.
"I'm not the coach. He can very well do what he wants," Fernandez said. "I didn't look too strong. I wasn't there to make the key saves. I don't know if I was taken by surprise or what."
Doan gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead 6:07 into the game. Ossi Vaananen kept the Wild from clearing the puck and fired a slap shot from the blue line off the left boards. The puck bounced off Minnesota center Cliff Ronning and onto Doan's stick.
"When you get the first one it seems easier," Doan said. "You get that first one and you start playing a little better and with more confidence."
Wilson extended the lead to 2-0 at 14:55 of the period on a rebound of Bronco Radivojevic's shot off the left post.
Doan scored again just over 2 minutes later when he took a back pass from Wilson in the low slot and beat Fernandez for his team-leading sixth goal.
"They got three goals early and that was it. It was done," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said.
Fernandez was pulled in favor of Dwayne Roloson to begin the second.
Lemieux scored his second goal of the season on a blast past Roloson from the top of the right circle with 11:30 to go.
Dupuis ended Brian Boucher's shutout bid with a tip-in goal with 9:37 remaining.
"I think they had our number from the last game," Minnesota's Brad Brown said. "I think their coaching staff had them geared up to play us, and in the first period we just weren't there as a team."
Notes: Doan has five goals and two assists in his last eight games. ... Coyotes D Todd Simpson returned to the lineup after missing 11 games with a broken bone in his right hand. Simpson was one of seven defenseman in uniform for Phoenix. ... Minnesota RW Marian Gaborik, who had six points in the Wild's previous win in Phoenix, was held scoreless after registering four goals and an assist in his last two games. ... Wilson's three-point game was his first since April 12, also against the Wild.
Minnesota 0 0 1 -- 1
Phoenix 3 0 1 -- 4
First Period--1, Phoenix, Doan 5 (Vaananen, Wilson), 6:07. 2, Phoenix, Wilson 4 (Radivojevic, Lemieux), 14:55. 3, Phoenix, Doan 6 (Wilson), 17:11. Penalties--Mitchell, Min (tripping), 9:59; Benysek, Min (high-sticking), 12:44.
Second Period--None. Penalties--Marshall, Min (ob.-hooking), 2:56; Mi. Johnson, Pho (elbowing), 5:45; Laaksonen, Min (high-sticking), 10:03; Ronning, Min (slashing), 11:38; Briere, Pho (goalie interference), 15:59.
Third Period--4, Phoenix, Lemieux 2 (Johnson, Buchberger), 8:30. 5, Minnesota, Dupuis 4 (Zholtok, Kuba), 10:23. Penalties--Nagy, Pho (hooking), 12:15; Langkow, Pho (roughing), 15:09; Dupuis, Min (interference), 17:22; Brown, Min, double minor (roughing), 19:47; Simpson, Pho (roughing), 19:47; Veilleux, Min (roughing), 19:54; Wilson, Pho (roughing), 19:54.
Shots on goal--Minnesota 6-11-12--29. Phoenix 14-8-10--32.
Power-play Opportunities--Minnesota 0 of 4; Phoenix 0 of 7.
Goalies--Minnesota, Fernandez 6-2-0 (14 shots-11 saves), Roloson (0:00 second, 18-17). Phoenix, Boucher 5-5-0 (29-28).
Referees--Brad Meier, Don Van Massenhoven. Linesmen--Pat Dapuzzo, Brad Lazarowich.
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