The Minnesota Wild made the most of a second chance.
Cal Clutterbuck had a chance to win Friday's game when he went in on a breakaway in the final minute of overtime, only to be denied by Anaheim goalie Dan Ellis. But with time running out, Pierre-Marc Bouchard succeeded where Clutterbuck had failed, scoring on another breakaway with 6.3 seconds left to give the Wild a 3-2 victory Friday night.
Ellis, acquired by the Ducks on Thursday, denied Clutterbuck after defenseman Toni Lydman lost the puck at the Minnesota blue line. But the Ducks got caught up ice again, and this time Bouchard came through with his seventh goal of the season and second game-winner after getting the puck from Brent Burns.
"I was waiting around the red line to see if Burns saw me. Luckily I got a breakaway," Bouchard said. "It's fun to connect and get a goal. It's a huge win for us. We played a pretty good game. We showed a lot of character, so it's a big two points. We're missing a lot of key guys in the lineup, but I think we are playing our best hockey right now. Guys are stepping up their game, and that's what we need from everybody."
Wild coach Todd Richards was surprised to see his team get a second chance.
'With Clutterbuck, you think maybe that's the one chance you're going to get in overtime," Richards said. "To get another breakaway 30 seconds later -- you don't see that too often. With (Bouchard) going in, I think everyone stood up on the bench expecting the result, and that's the result we got."
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was aghast at seeing two breakaways in so short a time.
"I don't think you ever design to give up two breakaways in 4-on-4 play," Carlyle said. "We got too loose and too aggressive on the offensive side of it. We got caught. You can't do that. (Ellis) made a big stop on the first one. The puck bobbled over Cam Fowler's's stick and they got in behind us. That's a new one for us."
Jose Theodore made 46 saves for the Wild, who moved into sixth place in the Western Conference. Minnesota and Los Angeles both have 72 points, but the Wild have played one more game. It was a good bounce-back victory for the Wild, who lost 4-2 at L.A. on Thursday and are playing without their top two centers.
"The guys played hard, they really did," Richards said. "It started with our goaltender -- Theo was great, he was the difference in the game. We had some guys step up and play hard tonight. That game against L.A. last night really took a lot out of us. We were playing against another big team tonight, and we found a way to get a huge two points."
Theodore admitted the Wild were fatigued after the loss to the Kings 24 hours earlier.
"We were a little tired, but the guys showed a lot of character," he said.
The single point gives 11th-place Anaheim 69, one in back of eighth-place Chicago in the jam-packed Western Conference race.
"It's tough. You look at all the chances we had to score and put the game away," forward Corey Perry said.
Minnesota looked like it would win in regulation when Ellis fanned on a 55-foot slap shot by Clayton Stoner -- the puck slid between his pads with 4:57 left in regulation to give the Wild a 2-1 lead. But another Anaheim newcomer, defenseman Francois Beauchemin, nudged home the rebound of Jason Blake's shot with 2:00 remaining to force overtime.
"It was disappointing," Richards said of allowing the lead to slip away late in regulation.
Minnesota's John Madden opened the scoring at 15:29 of the opening period, racing down left wing on a 2-on-1 break and beating Ellis high to the far corner with a perfect wrist shot.
Anaheim tied it 9:22 into the second as a pretty Ryan Getzlaf backhand feed from behind the net hit Blake just outside the crease. Theodore stopped Blake's shot, but both Blake and Bobby Ryan attacked the rebound, with Ryan getting his stick on the puck to jam under the goaltender.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Theodore over there," Perry said. "He played well and made some big saves. He saw a lot of rubber tonight. It's a matter of finding those bounces again that we were getting early on when we were winning."
The Ducks preferred to look at the point they got, rather than the one that got away.
"We did some things throughout the hockey game to give ourselves a chance," Carlyle said. "We didn't execute when we had open nets and didn't get enough traffic in front of Theodore. But we had 40-plus shots and got a point. Now we have to build on this, forget this, move on to tomorrow and prepare for Sunday."
Neither of the Koivu brothers played. Anaheim's Saku sat out his second straight game with a groin injury. Minnesota captain Mikko missed his fourth game because of a broken finger, sustained against the Ducks on Feb. 18., and is expected to be out at least a couple more weeks.
The Koivus have faced each other nine times in the NHL, with Mikko on the winning side four times. The only time they scored in the same game was Oct. 6, 2009, when both connected on power plays in Minnesota's 4-3 overtime win over the Ducks at St. Paul.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|John Madden (9) ASST: Andrew Brunette (20), Antti Miettinen (17)|
1 - 0 MIN
|Bobby Ryan (29) ASST: Jason Blake (13), Ryan Getzlaf (33)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Clayton Stoner (2) ASST: Antti Miettinen (18), Greg Zanon (5)|
2 - 1 MIN
|Francois Beauchemin (3) ASST: Jason Blake (14), Teemu Selanne (37)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Pierre-Marc Bouchard (7) ASST: Brent Burns (23), Antti Miettinen (19)|
3 - 2 MIN
|Maxim Lapierre Boarding against Warren Peters|
|Teemu Selanne Hooking against Matt Cullen|
|Nick Schultz Tripping against Bobby Ryan|
|Corey Perry Charging against Cal Clutterbuck|
|Brent Burns Interference against Jarkko Ruutu|
|Luca Sbisa Holding against Chuck Kobasew|
|Pierre-Marc Bouchard Hooking against Jarkko Ruutu|
|Greg Zanon Hooking against Bobby Ryan|
|Jed Ortmeyer Tripping against Cam Fowler|