Now that’s more like it. The Ducks took a 3-0 lead in the second period like they did last week against the same Wild, but this time were able to hold on to that lead for the victory.
The Ducks didn’t play a perfect game but they played well enough to get a win. Corey Perry started the scoring early in the first period on a turnover in the Minnesota zone. Minnesota just began making a line change as the last Wild defender, who was almost at the blue line, tried clearing the puck. Perry caught the puck in his glove before setting it down and skating in on a breakaway from the left side against Niklas Backstrom. Perry deked to the right, shifting his entire body to that side, before bringing the puck back to the left and back-handing the puck past Backstrom.
But Perry wasn’t done. On a long, dominating shift by the RPG line, a perfect pass from Bobby Ryan allowed Perry to get his second goal of the first period. Ryan collected the puck below the left circle as Perry skated toward the front of the net. It looked like there was no passing lane between the two Ducks players but Ryan found one to get the puck to an open Perry. Perry then showed remarkable patience, slowly gliding to the right of the net as Backstrom tried stretching to that side. Perry then shot the puck into the open net as Backstrom was unable to get across.
The Ducks got their third goal of the game in the second period after a hard-working shift by the Ducks’ fourth line. Minnesota was skating the puck out of the zone when Mike Brown was able to get the puck back before putting a wrist shot on net. With George Parros driving the net hard from the left side and Ryan Carter from the right, any rebound would put the Ducks in a good position to score a goal, and Carter capitalized by putting the puck between Backstrom’s legs.
The Wild scored later in the second to pull within two before making Ducks fans and players nervous by scoring with nine seconds left in the game. The Ducks held on this time and took the two points.
This game was far from perfect but it was good enough for the win. The penalty kill looked great as it did not give up a single goal, but the power play fizzled and wasn’t able to get on the board. The Ducks’ coaching staff will continue to work on special teams play as the team continues an almost three week long home stand.
– Minnesota’s first goal came off a bad giveaway by Luca Sbisa. Sbisa began skating the puck out of the zone and tried banking the puck off the boards, but it was knocked out of the air by Eric Belanger. Belanger skated in and made a perfect shot.
– Brendan Mikkelson finished the game with one assist and a plus-3 rating. His performance should keep him in the lineup for the next game.