Jan 30, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise (11) carries the puck during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks: Game Preview, 2/1/2013

Our beloved Anaheim Ducks will be playing host to the team most talked about this in the off-season, the Minnesota Wild.

Anaheim is coming off a disappointing overtime loss in San Jose on Tuesday in which the Ducks looked sharp, but couldn’t seem to get the lucky breaks that helped the undefeated San Jose Sharks get back into the game, eventually winning in a shootout.

The Wild on the other hand are coming off a shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks, who previous to the two teams meeting had been the NHL’s only undefeated team, (other than San Jose).

The 3-1-1 Ducks will be starting goalie Viktor Fasth, who stood tall to win in a shootout last weekend in his NHL debut against the Nashville Predators. Defensemen prospect Sami Vatanen is also expected to be making his NHL debut tonight for the Ducks.

The Minnesota Wild are seeking to become one of the NHL’s most improved teams with the addition of the summer’s two largest free agents: winger Zach Parise and defensemen Ryan Suter. Parise is leading the team in goals, while Suter is leading the team in ice time per game. With the teams latest additions the Wild have started the season at 4-2-1.

The Ducks are looking to rebound from their loss in San Jose and win with the help of a confident Viktor Fasth in net. Rumor has it that Bobby Ryan may be playing center tonight as the Ducks continue to seek answers for the team’s second line. Rookie Rickard Rakell is considered a healthy scratch tonight, and there is no word from the Ducks organization on whether or not Rakell will stay with the team, as the Ducks attempt to answer whether or not they are willing to burn a year on Rakell’s contract. Rakell is allowed to play one more game before the Ducks must make a decision.

Coach Bruce Boudreau has stated that he wants the Ducks to become known as a team with great work ethic, and tonight they’re going to need that work ethic as they face off against Zach Parise and the Wild.

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Bobby Ryan Game Preview Minnesota Wild Rickard Rakell Ryan Suter Sami Vatanen Viktor Fasth Zach Parise

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