NHL Wild fire Boudreau as coach after shootout defeat

Bruce Boudreau was fired on Friday as coach of the NHL's Minnesota Wild (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)

New York (AFP) - Bruce Boudreau was fired on Friday as coach of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, hours after the club squandered a two-goal lead in the third period and lost in a shootout.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin announced the firing and named assistant coach Dean Evason as the club's interim head coach.

"I would like to thank Bruce for his hard work and commitment to the Minnesota Wild during his tenure with the organization," Guerin said.

The Wild lost 4-3 at home in a shootout to the New York Rangers on Thursday after leading 3-1 in the third period.

At 27-23 with seven over-time losses for 61 points, the Wild stand three points behind Arizona for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot but with Winnipeg and Nashville between them in the post-season fight.

Boudreau went 158-110-35 in nearly four seasons with the Wild and overall has a 567-302-115 record in 13 campaigns as an NHL coach with Washington, Anaheim and Minnesota.

The 65-year-old Canadian, who spent most of his 20-year playing career in the minor leagues, won the 2008 Jack Adams Award as the NHL's most outstanding coach after guiding Washington to a division crown in his first season as an NHL coach.

Evason, who spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with Washington, the final five under Boudreau, captained Canada to the 1997 world championship.