Ducks and Wild battle in Anaheim
The Ducks halted a lengthy losing streak in their last trip to the ice and they'll try to record consecutive victories for the first time in almost a month when they host the Minnesota Wild tonight at Honda Center.
Anaheim ended a six-game slide on Friday by edging the visiting Vancouver Canucks, 4-3. Peter Holland recorded the first career goal of his NHL career late in the second period and it proved to be the game-winner, as the Ducks held on to win despite a furious rally by the Canucks in the final 20 minutes.
Tonight, Anaheim will try to record consecutive wins for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Oct. 8-17.
Holland scored with 2:38 remaining in the second period to stake Anaheim to a 4-0 lead. All four of the Ducks' markers came in the second period.
However, Anaheim nearly frittered away the sizeable lead after Vancouver scored three times in the third, but the Ducks wound up prevailing for only the second time in their last 11 games (2-6-3).
Saku Koivu, Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, while Jonas Hiller made 38 saves for the win.
"We gave them a little too much. They had lots of speed coming through the neutral zone and our defensemen had no chance to stand up or do anything," Hiller said. "At the end, we found a way. That's definitely something we can build on and get the confidence that we can win against one of the best teams in the league."
Anaheim had lost three straight on home ice before Friday's win and the Ducks are now 4-3-0 in Orange County this season. The Ducks are closing out a three- game homestand tonight.
It wasn't all good news for the Ducks on Friday, however, as they lost defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to a broken finger late in the third period. Visnovsky suffered the injury while blocking a shot and will miss the next four weeks of action.
Visnovsky had 18 goals and a career-high 68 points for Anaheim last season, but he was struggling so far in 2011-12, posting one goal, three assists and a minus-seven rating.
The Wild will try to avoid a third straight loss when they take the ice this evening. Since winning five in a row, Minnesota has dropped games in San Jose and Los Angeles, where the Wild was dealt a 5-2 loss on Saturday. The Kings scored four times in the second period en route to the easy win.
Josh Harding started in net for the Wild but was pulled in the second after allowing four goals on 21 shots. Niklas Backstrom made 14 saves in relief.
Cal Clutterbuck and Darroll Powe notched the goals for Minnesota, which is playing the fourth test of a five-game road trip tonight. The Wild, who are 3-2-2 as the guest this year, will cap the swing Tuesday in Columbus.
Minnesota forward Marco Scandella is not expected to play tonight after suffering an apparent head injury in Saturday's loss. He left the game in the first period after absorbing a hard check from Ethan Moreau and never returned.
The Ducks posted a 3-2 win in Minnesota on Oct. 27, but the Wild have still taken three of five and seven of the last 11 meetings in this series. Minnesota has lost four of its last six in Anaheim.