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Wild hope to rebound against Ducks

by Brian Compton
WILD (8-5-3) at DUCKS (6-7-3)


Last 10: Minnesota 6-3-1; Anaheim 2-5-3.

Season Series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams. They last faced each other on Oct. 27, when Anaheim earned a 3-2 victory at the Xcel Energy Center. Teemu Selanne had 3 assists for the Ducks.

Big Story: As if its recent struggles weren't enough, Anaheim just learned that world-class defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will miss the next 4 weeks with a broken finger. Visnovsky suffered the injury during Friday night's 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks at the Honda Center.

Visnovsky, 35, led all NHL defensemen with 68 points (18 goals, 50 assists) last season.

"Obviously it's not good to see one of our key players go down", said Luca Sbisa, who will be asked to help fill the void left by Visnovsky's injury. "The other side is there's a big opportunity and one of us has to take it. I'm more than happy to take over that role."

Team Scope:

Wild: A slow start doomed Minnesota on Saturday night, as it mustered only one shot in the first 17:15 en route to a 5-2 loss at Los Angeles. The Wild, who had won five of six and had allowed an average of 1.56 goals over their first 14 games, trailed 5-0 after two periods. Josh Harding was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 21 shots.

"Right from the drop of the puck we weren't ready to play," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "You always get what you deserve, or at least way more often get what you deserve. We got what we deserved tonight."

Ducks: Anaheim snapped a 6-game winless streak with Friday's victory against the Canucks. However, the Ducks nearly let at least one point slip away as a 4-0 lead at the start of the third period turned into a 4-3 victory at the final buzzer. Vancouver scored three unanswered goals in the third period and had a 6-on-4 man advantage in the final minute but couldn't tally the equalizer.

"It was pretty tense in some situations there and everything was going against us," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "You could see the ice was tilted and they were winning all the battles. Jonas Hiller stood tall and was a wall in the net. We got the two points and we'll move forward."

Who's Hot: Dany Heatley has 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the last four games for Minnesota. … Selanne had an assist Friday night and leads the Ducks with 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists).

Injury Report: The Wild will likely be missing Guillaume Latendresse (undisclosed), Clayton Stoner (finger), Greg Zanon (groin) and Mike Lundin (back). … Anaheim is expected to be without Jason Blake (lacerated forearm), Nick Bonino (knee) and George Parros (eye).

Stat Pack: The Ducks have killed 25 of 26 penalties on home ice this season. They were 25-for-25 until Vancouver struck in the third period Friday night.

Puck Drop: "I don't think it's one simple thing. It's a number of things. It all added up to a terrible game. We're not doing the things to score. There's no real secret. We're just not doing it. We've got to play our game." -- Wild center Matt Cullen after Saturday's 5-2 loss at Los Angeles
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