Ryan steps up in Getzlaf's absence
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
Despite missing their No. 1 center on Tuesday night, the Anaheim Ducks
managed to skate away with two points thanks to an inspiring effort from Bobby Ryan
The stud forward scored twice and added an assist in Ryan Getzlaf
's absence and Jonas Hiller
made 29 saves as the Ducks earned a 4-2 victory against the Minnesota Wild
at the Honda Center.
scored again and Todd Marchant added an empty-net goal for the Ducks, who outshot Minnesota 17-8 in the first period and killed two penalties in the final 3:09 to secure the win.
Anaheim was forced to play without Getzlaf after the All-Star center suffered a cut on his leg on Saturday against San Jose.
"We came out hard tonight," said Ryan, who is tied with Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone for the most goals this season by American-born players (19). "The guys were prepared. When a guy like Getzy goes down, it really impacts everybody around the room. We said before that some guys need to step up."
Antti Miettinen and Kim Johnsson scored for the Wild, who squandered a chance to set a team record with their 11th win this month. At 10-5 in December, they have one more opportunity to do it, on Thursday against at home against the Los Angeles Kings. Johnsson's goal came on the power play with 6:53 remaining and cut Anaheim's lead to 3-2.
Ryan broke a scoreless tie 7:08 into the game, when he picked off Derek Boogaard's attempted clearing pass in the neutral zone, skated into the Wild zone with the puck and ripped a wrister from the slot past Josh Harding
(28 saves) for his 18th goal of the season.
But Minnesota tied it when Miettinen beat Hiller at 15:41 with his ninth goal, shooting the puck in off the skate of Anaheim forward Troy Bodie from the left side of the crease.
Sexton restored Anaheim's lead just 35 seconds later when he received a cross-ice pass from Ryan and beat Harding with a wrist shot. Sexton has six goals and three assists in his first 12 NHL games after getting promoted from AHL Manitoba on Dec. 4.
''They were a desperate team coming in,'' Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck
said. ''They're in a situation now where if they don't turn it around soon, things are going to start looking more and more dull for them down the stretch.''
Ryan -- who hopes to represent the United States at the Olympics this February -- notched his second goal of the night via the power play with 1:16 remaining in the second period. Just three seconds after a two-man advantage expired, Ryan took a feed from Mikko Koivu
and beat Harding for his 100th NHL point as the Ducks took a 3-1 lead.
''To be honest, I thought about it more at the beginning of the year,'' said Ryan, who hails from Cherry Hill, N.J. ''I've tried to just let my play do the talking and try to get this team out of the basement. So we'll worry about that when it comes. I'll be tuned into the TV like everybody else waiting for the announcement, and I hope to wear the colors in February.''
Anaheim begins a three-game road trip on Thursday night in Dallas.
"We know going onto the road we're going into some tough buildings," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "The first one is the most important one in Dallas. No matter who we have in our lineup and who is available to us, we have to be prepared to compete."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.