Following Wild games, Managing Editor Glen Andresen will give the five takeaways that he'll remember from each contest. Tonight, Wild Digital Media Coordinator Carly Peters fills in and looks back at the 6-2 loss in Anaheim Sunday night.
Anaheim's fifth goal came after perhaps the craziest play we've seen all season. After Mikko Koivu
lost his own stick in the Anaheim zone, he skated past Bobby Ryan and stole the stick out of Ryan's hands. Ryan seemed to skate around confused before eventually picking up Koivu's stick, which was sitting idle on the ice. Of course, it's even more interesting because Koivu and Ryan have different handed sticks.
Anaheim eventually created a scoring chance and a rebound came directly to Ryan as he sat alone at the side of the Wild net. Ryan shot the puck into the wide open net and held up the stick in Koivu's direction, seemingly mocking him for taking his stick and scoring with it.
Just minutes after the incident, Ryan spoke with Kevin Gorg during the second intermission on FOX Sports North saying it was the first time he's ever scored with an opponent's stick. Ryan said, "We got into a battle. Somehow Koivu ended up with mine and I saw his on the ground and figured I would pick it up and just kind of entertain myself and the puck found me."
When I heard that Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne were going to be out of commission for tonight's game, I couldn't help but think that the Wild would have an easier job defending tonight. And boy, did the line of Correy Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan put me in my place quickly.
The three forwards combined for all six Anaheim goals. Pardon the pun, but they were flying all night long. The three combined for 11 points, a +6 ranking and 14 shots. Minnesota had no answer to calm the fire when the line got hot, scoring just 19 seconds into the game.
While the Wild certainly would have preferred to come out of Anaheim with the win, it's important for fans to look at the entire road trip and not just the way this one ended. They say a team should aim for a .500 record on the road if it wants to make the playoffs, and the Wild did better than that, earning five of a possible eight points on the trip.
Certainly, seven would have been much sweeter, but the Wild did play well for most of the road trip. Even in tonight's contest, Minnesota battled, and short of a few lapses, played much better than the 6-2 score would indicate. If the Wild can continue to play the way it has in the past week, fans can expect the team to keep climbing the standings.
Lost in the many storylines of tonight's game might be Brent Burns continued hot streak. Burns made an excellent play when he decided to pinch to the Anaheim net, before Martin Havlat set up his first period goal. It was Burns ninth goal of the season, taking over the lead among all Wild players.
Burns now has a three-game goal streak and has five points (3-2=5) in his last six games. Tonight's contest also marked Burns' 400th career NHL game. He led all players with 23:06 TOI.
The Wild battled back numerous times throughout tonight's game, but the real turning point might have been when Corey Perry scored on a penalty shot in the second.
Minnesota had tied the game after Anaheim scored 19 seconds into the game, and again scored after Anaheim had gained a two-goal lead on a 5-on-3 goal after the Wild took a careless penalty with too many men on the ice. Despite being down 3-2, Minnesota had the momentum since it had closed the gap and was again on the power play.
Then, Perry stormed into the Wild zone shorthanded, forcing Cam Barker to impede his shot. He scored five hole on the ensuing penalty shot against Niklas Backstrom
and the Wild failed to capitalize on the rest of its power play, now down two goals again. The goal seemed to quickly put a damper on the Wild comeback.