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Wild-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Minnesota Wild (29-27-5) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (27-20-11).

TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks will attempt to muster more offensive firepower as they host the Minnesota Wild in their second game back from the Olympic break.

Anaheim went 0-for-5 on the power play and totaled just 12 shots the final two periods Wednesday in a 2-0 loss to Detroit.

"I didnt think we played very well," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "For whatever reason we seemed to struggle with the puck in situations and we didn't react. We were frustrated by our lack of offensive punch. We had our chances but we didnt finish."

The Mighty Ducks had both captain Scott Niedermayer and Sandis Ozolinsh in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 27. Ozolinsh missed 20 games undergoing substance abuse counseling while Niedermayer returned from arthroscopic knee surgery that caused him to miss playing for the Canadian Olympic team. Niedermayer returned just 16 days after having the surgery, far earlier than expected.

"It feels fine," Niedermayer said of the knee. Well see tomorrow when its warm. It may be a little stiff in the morning. Im just happy to get back on the ice."

The shutout also meant Teemu Selanne - Anaheim's leading scorer with 54 points - was held without a point for only the second time since Dec. 28, a span of 19 games.

This is the second of a four-game homestand for the Ducks.

The Wild lost 3-2 to the Kings on Thursday night, their third loss in a row and second since the Olympic break ended.

Marian Gaborik scored both goals for Minnesota, which gave up the game-winning goal with less than three minutes to play. The loss kept Minnesota 11th in the Western Conference and five points behind Edmonton for the final playoff spot. Anaheim is three points behind the Oilers.

"Hopefully, we have enough gas in the tank to surprise some teams," said Minnesota goalie Manny Fernandez, who made 35 saves but lost his fourth straight start. "There are a lot of things we need to work on, but these are points that we need."

Minnesota - which has the league's best penalty kill unit - allowed a power-play goal for the first time in five games.

"We played good and deserved better, but we took too many penalties," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said.

The Wild, who play six of their next seven games at home, have won four in a row against the Mighty Ducks, including all three meetings this season.

STANDINGS: Wild - 63 points, 5th place, 12 PB, Northwest Division. Mighty Ducks - 65 points, 3rd place, 14 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Gaborik, 27 goals; Brian Rolston, 38 assists and 62 points; Derek Boogaard, 133 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 26 goals and 54 points; Andy McDonald, 34 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 136 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Wild - Power play: 17.9 percent (62 for 346), 17th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 89.3 percent (301 for 337), 1st. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.5 percent (57 for 345), 21st. Penalty killing: 84 percent (314 for 374), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Wild - Fernandez (23-11-4, 1 SO, 2.19 GAA); Dwayne Roloson (6-16-1, 1, 3.00). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (16-9-10, 2, 2.64); Ilya Bryzgalov (11-11-1, 1, 2.53).


LAST MEETING: Jan. 7; Wild, 4-1. At St. Paul, Minn., Fernandez matched a career-high by winning his sixth straight start as nine Minnesota players recorded points in the victory.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 12-14-4 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 17-9-4 at home.

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