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Recap: Ducks Can't Climb Out of Early Hole in 5-1 Defeat to Wild

by Adam Brady @AdamJBrady /

ANAHEIM - The indication it wouldn't be the Ducks' night came early tonight with the Minnesota Wild in town.

Anaheim gave up the game's first goal less than two minutes after the opening draw, and allowed a troubling 19 shots in the opening frame, in an eventual 5-1 loss to the Wild at Honda Center.

A modest two-game home winning streak was snapped as the Ducks (7-8-3) dropped their ninth game in the last 11. Minnesota (10-4-2) has gone in the other direction, winning nine of its last 11, including last night's 3-1 defeat of the Kings in LA.

"It was just embarrassing," said a despondent Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano. "That's the word we can use. There's really nothing to break down."

A defensive breakdown early on led to Minnesota getting the first goal, as all five Ducks had committed to one side of the ice before Joel Eriksson Ek slipped a pass to a wide open Jordan Greenway for the backhander in alone.

The Ducks could have easily been down more than a goal after giving up 19 shots in the first period, but John Gibson stopped 18 of those in another workmanlike effort.

Video: MIN@ANA: Gibson makes two point-blank saves in tight

"We took six minutes in penalties in the first period. It's tough to get anything going at that point," lamented Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf. "We came out of the first period down a goal. We still had an opportunity to play the game. I didn't think we had it mentally tonight. The mental part of the game I didn't think we had. We were losing pucks everywhere. Everything was going off the toe, and that's up top."

Minnesota ultimately did get its second goal 3:19 into the second period. That's when Mikael Granlund slipped a pass through the crease from behind the net and Jason Zucker banged it home.

More artistry from behind the cage put Anaheim down 3-0 near the halfway point of the period, as Zucker fed a charging Granlund this time for the one-timer.

Anaheim finally cut into the lead late in the second period on the power play when Pontus Aberg took in a Hampus Lindholm pass in the right wing circle and buried it top shelf. His fifth of the year ties him for the team lead.

Video: MIN@ANA: Aberg rips one top shelf on the power play

The Ducks' attempts to get any closer were thwarted midway through the third when Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin beat Gibson glove side from the left wing.

Granlund made it 5-1 with just under four minutes left when he backhanded in a rebound.

"We gained a little bit of momentum with how we've been playing, and we knew it was going to be a game that we needed to play tight," Cogliano said. "We needed to earn it. That's how that team plays, and that's how they've always been. That just shows we weren't willing to do anything to win the game. The score was indicative of that."

Added Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, "We got a little bit more physical at the end of the second period, the last five or six minutes. We thought we'd be able to carry that out into the third and give ourselves a chance. As far as our execution and emotional level, we looked spent. We didn't have any legs underneath us. Those are the questions you're always going to ask yourself."

Anaheim has the weekend before taking on Western Conference frontrunner Nashville on Monday, winners of four in a row.

"It's very frustrating," Getzlaf said. "We're trying to build. Every day you try to be positive. You try to do things properly. For whatever reason tonight, we didn't have it."

Video: MIN@ANA: Ducks, Wild remember California victims

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