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What's good, State of Hockey legion? It's Carly Peters, Wild Digital Media Coordinator here. Your usual host, Glen Andresen, took the night off to watch his beloved UMD Bulldogs tie the Golden Gophers, so I'll be filling in for in-game commentary from my Bloomington family room tonight.
And what a night it's going to be! The Wild is 2-0-2 in its past four games and looking to wrap up its road trip with a win against the hated Anaheim "don't call us Mighty" Ducks. The good guys are riding high after a thrilling, 3-2, overtime win in Los Angeles last night and nothing would make the trip back to the tundra more enjoyable than getting seven of a possible eight points on this road trip.
Word from Orange County is that both Wild forwards John Madden and Matt Cullen
will remain out of the Minnesota lineup. That means the Wild roster will be the same as last night, minus Niklas Backstrom
taking the spot in front of the Minnesota net. The Ducks will also be short a few players, with both Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne out of the lineup.
As for the attire, the Wild will sport the usual road whites while Anaheim goes with the black jerseys with "Ducks" across the chest.
The guys on FOX Sports North's Qwest Wild Live just told me it's 87 degrees in Anaheim. Since we've all spent the past two days shoveling and measuring the snow drifts halfway up our windows, I say this is the perfect time for the hockey gods to even that disparity.
So, grab your blanket and hot cocoa, because there's no better way to end a weekend than with a Wild win. Let's do this.Period 119:41 - Wild 0, Anaheim 1 - Not the start I was looking for on in-game commentary, and certainly not the start the Wild was hoping for. Bobby Ryan grabs the puck along the end boards and shuffles a quick pass to Corey Perry, who's right in front of the Wild net and sends a quick shot past Nik Backstrom just 19 seconds into the game.
16:28 - Martin Havlat makes a quick move into the Ducks zone. Andreas Lilja tries to stop Marty by grabbing his shoulder, but that's a no-no, and he'll go to the box for two minutes. The Wild will get an early shot to run the power play.13:24 - Wild 1, Anaheim 1 - There we go! After the Wild can't manage a shot on the power play, Minnesota keeps the pressure on and scores a beauty. Havlat steals the puck in the Ducks zone then makes a beautiful pass to Brent Burns, who's got a wide open net for his team-leading ninth goal of the season. Burns pinched down to the goal line unnoticed and put the puck easily past Jonas Hiller to tie things up. And yes, Burns was my selection for the wild.com Fantasy Spotlight today. Thanks, Burnsie!
12:52 - Wild 1, Anaheim 2 - Yikes. That wasn't what I was hoping for, either. Less than a minute after the Wild evens the game, Ryan Getzlaf gives the Ducks another lead. On a delayed penalty call against Burns, Getzalf snaps a wrister from the left circle over the glove of Backstrom. Anaheim's top line has certainly been buzzing.
7:38 - FOX Sports North just took a moment to showcase Wild forward Warren Peters
, who was recalled from Houston yesterday. I'll take this moment to let you know we're not related, but if he scores, I'll be sure to take some of the credit.
6:40 - The Bouchard-Brodziak-Havlat line has been impressive early in the game and just created multiple scoring chances on its most recent shift. The Ducks were running around trying to regroup but Minnesota was unable to get the puck past Hiller.
1:30 - After a nice forecheck by Chuck Kobasew, Warren Peters
takes the puck and tries to bank it in off Hiller. No such luck, but I like the idea. Solid shift by the fourth line.
0:00 - The horn sounds and the Wild will go into the first intermission trailing the Ducks, 2-1. Let's hope the refreshing energy drink they're about to enjoy gets them amped up to come out strong in the second.Period 2
18:51 - Marek Zidlicky tries to get the puck away from Todd Marchant behind the Wild net, but will go off for two minutes for hooking.
18:12 - That's not good. Minnesota gets caught with too many men on the ice and will be two men down. 17:09 - Wild 1, Anaheim 3 - The Wild was able to get past Corey Perry missing a wide open net, but not this. Getzlaf gets his second of the game after a laser of a slapshot from the right circle goes past Backstrom. With that, Marek Zidlicky will come out of the box and Minnesota will only be one man down.
16:12 - Chuck Kobasew gets out of the box and the Wild will be back to full strength.
11:21 - I don't know if the Wild can get any closer to scoring a power play goal without actually getting on the board. After Jason Blake was called for interference, Minnesota controlled play for the entire two minutes, getting multiple scoring chances and working the puck around the zone. No dice on a goal, but you'd have to think the last two minutes should get the guys motivated on the Wild bench.
11:00 - Luca Sbisa will go off for slashing and the Wild will get another chance to continue that hot play with the man advantage.10:11 - Wild 2, Anaheim 3 - There it is! Mikko Koivu blasts a shot from the right circle and Marek Zidlicky takes care of the rebound just to the right of Hiller. Nice to see the guys cash in after dominating play for the past few minutes. Make it three straight games that Minnesota has scored on the man advantage. Can we make it three straight wins, please?
9:25 - George Parros and his moustache take exception to Peters trying to poke in a rebound on Hiller's pads. There is some pushing and shoving behind the Anaheim net, but nobody will be going to the box.
7:21 - Lilja dumps Pierre-Marc Bouchard
at the side of the Anaheim net, as he falls head-first into the end boards. Butch looks to be OK and Lilja will go to the box for two minutes while the Wild power play returns to action.5:41 - Wild 2, Anaheim 4 - Corey Perry is hooked by Cam Barker as he streaks down the ice on a shorthanded chance. Perry is awarded a penalty shot and scores five hole. That will be marked as a shorthanded penalty shot for his second of the game
3:30- After Lilja came out of the box with no harm done, the Ducks have been on fire in the Wild zone, skating around like they are up a couple of players. 2:34 - Wild 2, Anaheim 5 - Wow. This might just be the craziest exchange I have ever witnessed in a hockey game. Please bear with me as I try my best to explain this unbelievable turn of events: First, Mikko Koivu loses his stick in the Wild zone. As Bobby Ryan skates past him, Koivu literally rips Ryan's stick out of his hands so he can use it for himself. Ryan skates around confused for a while as play continues before eventually grabbing Koivu's stick, which is sitting idle on the ice. Mind you, Koivu and Perry have different handed sticks. Anaheim continues to control play in the Minnesota zone and Lydman snaps a shot from the right circle. The rebound comes right to Ryan, who pops it into a wide open net. Ryan then rasises the stick quite emphatically at Koivu, mocking him with his own stick. There is some discussion after the goal as Minnesota tries to argue Ryan scored with an illegal stick, but the officials talk and it's called a good goal.
0:59.2 - Nick Schultz gets a stick up high on Corey Perry, and the really bad news, it draws blood. So, the Wild will be shorthanded for four minutes.
0:00 - The period comes to the end and Minnesota will have to kill off a 3:01 Ducks power play to start the third.Period 3
16:58 - Anaheim gets a few chances, but Minnesota is able to get out of the double minor unharmed.
15:00 - Mikko Koivu
usually does some of his best work when he's peeved. He must still have visions of Ryan taunting him with his own stick because he just put his head down and controlled play in the Ducks zone. Minnesota isn't able to score, but it should put a little excitement into the Wild lineup. The Wild certainly hasn't given up on this one yet, the effort is definitely still there.
9:20 - Cal Clutterbuck
lays a hard hit on Luca Sbisa along the end boards in the Anaheim zone. The ref doesn't like the hit very much and raises his arm on the play. It's a questionable call, but Clutterbuck will go to the box for boarding, regardless.
5:24 - The Wild get out of the Clutterbuck penalty unscathed but continue the march to the box. This time, it's Jared Spurgeon
for tripping after he takes down Getzlaf along the boards.
5:23 - Anyone else counting down the days until Christmas is over for the lone reason that we won't have to hear the rapping Santa on the Luther Nissan commercial?4:13 - Wild 2, Anaheim 6 - The hats rain down to the ice. Corey Perry nets the hat trick and his fifth point of the game to put the Ducks up four. Backstrom goes down early and Perry has plenty of time alone to his right, burrying the puck in the back of the Wild net. That line has been unstoppable for the Ducks tonight.
2:18 - Scary moment as Todd Marchant goes down to the ice grabbing his face after getting hit with the puck. He's clearly bleeding as he heads back to the locker room, where I'm guessing he'll get some stitches.
0:45 - You can't say Backstrom has thrown in the towel. Backs gets run over and still makes a few stellar saves from his back to keep the score the same.
0:00 - That will do it. The Wild fall to the Ducks tonight, 6-2, but head home after what most would call a pretty successful road trip, taking five of a possible eight points.