Anaheim, CA – Kyle Palmieri celebrated his 22nd birthday in style on Friday night.
Palmieri posted a pair of goals, including the go-ahead tally early in the third period, as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, at Honda Center.
Bobby Ryan recorded a goal and two assists, while Teemu Selanne supplied a trio of helpers for the Ducks, who have won two of their last three.
"I was excited to play with Bobby and Teemu," Palmieri said. "We were fortunate to get some scoring opportunities. This is the first time I've scored two goals on my birthday."
Rookie goaltender Viktor Fasth made his second career start and stopped 26 shots to earn the victory.
"The guys played really good in front of me," Fasth remarked. "We played with discipline tonight. That's what won the game for us."
Marco Scandella scored the lone Minnesota goal, while Niklas Backstrom was charged with all three goals on 31 shots for the Wild, who had won two straight.
Scandella opened the scoring near the midpoint of the first when he ripped a shot from the top of the left circle that slipped through the five-hole of Fasth, but Palmieri answered just under seven minutes into the second, as he took a nice cross-ice feed from Ryan and buried a shot past Backstrom to knot the game at 1-1 at the 6:49 mark.
Palmieri then provided the go-ahead goal just over four minutes into the third. After the Ducks won an offensive zone faceoff, Selanne wheeled around the net before finding a cutting Palmieri, who one-timed the puck into the back of the net to make it 2-1 at the 4:21 mark.
A holding penalty against Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler at the 14:24 mark gave the Wild a late power play, but Fasth turned away all comers to keep the Ducks in front.
Anaheim then put the game away with a power-play tally at the 18:26 mark when Selanne feathered a backhand pass across the crease that Ryan deposited into the back of the net to account for the final margin.
"They did a better job than us," Minnesota forward Dany Heatley admitted. "We have to do a better job of creating stuff. Our game plan was there, we just didn't execute."
It was Palmieri's second career multi-goal game ... Minnesota had won three straight in Anaheim ... Anaheim forward Emerson Etem and defenseman Sami Vatanen were both recalled from the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL on Sunday and made their NHL debuts. Etem finished with one shot in just over eight minutes of ice time, while Vatanen also recorded one shot in just under 14 minutes ... Minnesota finished 0-for-1 on the power play, while Anaheim went 1-for-2.