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game preview

Ducks at Wild preview

Minnesota tries to avoid fifth consecutive loss; Anaheim aims for third win in four

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

DUCKS (23-27-9) at WILD (27-26-6)



The Game

The Minnesota Wild hope to avoid a fifth straight defeat, which would mark their longest losing streak this season, when they host the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

The Wild, 0-3-1 in their past four games, lost five consecutive games (0-4-1) from Dec. 15-27. Minnesota, 1-5-3 in its past nine games, holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with 60 points, one point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks.

The Ducks, 2-1-0 in their past three games following a seven-game losing streak (0-7-0), are 4-16-4 in their past 24 games and trail the Wild by five points in the Western Conference.


Players to watch

Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf has four assists in his past four games. 

Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past three games.


They said it

"[Minnesota] is going to be playing well, controlling their offensive zone. That's something we've been trying to work on is our D-zone, so it's going to be a good matchup as they're trying to get back to something that they do well and we're trying got get better at something we have to improve on, and it will make the difference in the game." -- Ducks goalie Ryan Miller

"It's all about this game. We can't sit there and go, 'OK, we play [the] New York [Rangers] and Detroit [Red Wings] next,' let's worry about this game. This is the most important game right now." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau


Ducks projected lineup

Rickard Rakell -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Corey Perry

Max Jones -- Adam Henrique -- Troy Terry

Devin Shore -- Derek Grant -- Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie -- Ryan Kesler -- Carter Rowney

Cam Fowler -- Michael Del Zotto

Hampus Lindholm -- Josh Manson

Jaycob Megna -- Brandon Montour

Ryan Miller

Kevin Boyle

Scratched: Andy Welinski, Daniel Sprong

Injured: Patrick Eaves (illness), John Gibson (upper body), Chad Johnson (head)


Wild projected lineup

Jordan Greenway -- Eric Staal -- Jason Zucker

Zach Parise -- Mikael Granlund -- Charlie Coyle

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Brad Hunt -- Eric Fehr -- Pontus Aberg

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Anthony Bitetto

Nick Seeler -- Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Cal O'Reilly

Injured: Matt Dumba (upper body), Mikko Koivu (knee), Matt Hendricks (lower body), Victor Rask (lower body)


Status report

Anaheim held an optional morning skate. … Aberg returns after missing seven games with a lower body injury. … Hendricks skated for the first time since his injury and has been cleared to practice. … Rask was placed on injured reserve. … O'Reilly, a center, was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Monday.


Stat pack

The Ducks have allowed at least four goals in six of past their past nine games. … Henrique had three points (two goals, one assists) in a 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. … Granlund has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games.

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