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What's up State of Hockey legion Dudes and Dudettes? You're Willd fans. I'm a Wild.com commenter. Let's party! If it's Friday night, and the clock is hitting the dark side of 9:00, there really is no other place to be than Wild.com. I mean, sure, the best place to hang is with Ivy dog and me on the big brown couch in Como Park, St. Paul, Minnesota. But Ivy likes her space, and I'm no Smurf, so room is scarce. Hopefully you've got your own comfy surroundings to take in another huge, epic, ginormous Wild contest.
Tonight, your Minnesota Wild Boys find themselves in Orange County California, home of Disneyland (the ugly little brother of Orlando's Disney World), some Real Housevies (who are just a bunch of hags when you compare them to the classy babes in New Jersey and Atlanta) and of course the Anaheim Ducks (who are a bunch of hags when you compare them to just about anybody else on the planet).
We don't like the Ducks. They don't like us. And that's fine. We can't get along with everybody because that would make the world much to peaceful and boring. We thrive on animosity, so it's a good thing we've got Jose Theodore starting in goal for the W's tonight. If there's one thing I know about "Theo," it's that he can't stand the Ducks. He won't be satisfied until he has thoroughly dominated those knuckaheads in Cali.
The Wild will welcome Warren Peters
(no relation to Wild Digital Coordinator Carly Peters) back to the lineup tonight. He'll get in due to a lower body injury to Cody Almond
last night. And of course the Wild is also without top centers Mikko Koivu
(hand) and Kyle Brodziak
(illness). Cam Barker (upper body) is most likely hanging with those guys and following his teammates on in-game commentary tonight. 'Sup guys?
As for attire, the Wild will be forced to wear the same outfits that they had on last night: the road whites. The only thing worse than wearing the same thing two days in a row would be wearing Anaheim's home blacks trimmed in copper and orange with a big webbed duck foot on the chest.
The Minnesota Gophers have finally finished their beatdown of the MIchigan Tech Huskies (Oh joy.), so that means we can get to tonight's main course. It's late, but it's Friday, so let's party Wild fans.Period 1
17:09 - On his first shift of the night, Peters gets drilled into the boards from behind by Maxim Lapierre. Peters looks like a Garfield doll with suction cups on his feet has he goes up against the glass, but he's also going to draw a penalty on Lapierre.
16:45 - There's that nimrod Jarkko Ruutu, and he's leading a shorthanded break the other way. Rather than passing, he fires a wrister on goal that Theodore stops with the chest protector. The rebound pops right back to Ruutu, but he's unable to get solid wood on it and Theodore denies him again with the left leg pillow.
14:21 - Jed Ortmeyer
wins a puck battle in the Anaheim corner and he spots Eric Nystrom all alone in front of the net. Ortmeyer sends a pass to him, but former Nebraska Omaha Maverick Dan Ellis, playing his first game in goal for the Ducks, is able to get his big stick on the pass before Nystrom can rap it in.
11:56 - Ellis makes a nifty glove save on a blast from John Madden. I'll use this opportunity to tell former Colorado College Tiger Curtis McEhlhinney how much I'll miss him since he was traded to Tampa Bay for Ellis. Curtis, I will not miss typing your last name, but I will always miss watching your matador-like goaltending style against the Wild.
10:05 - On a delayed penalty to the Ducks, Pierre-Marc Bouchard
and Martin Havlat lead a charge the other way. Havlat dumps off a nice drop pass for a hard-charging Matt Cullen
, but his one-timer is snuffed out by Ellis.
5:57 - Brent Burns is buzzing around the ice again tonight, hoping to account for some of the missing offense. He drills a quick shot from the left circle that gives Ellis some problems and leaves a rebound for Peters. He is able to muscle another shot on goal, but Ellis absorbs that one as well and gets the faceoff.
5:45 - Apple Valley's own Dan Sexton leads another Anaheim two-on-one into the Wild zone. The former Bowling Green Falcon zips a quick shot on goal, but Theodore again is all over it. 4:31 - MIN 1 - ANA 0 - This is how you finish a two-on-one. Andrew Brunette comes up with the puck in the neutral zone and slides it over to John Madden on the left side. Bearing in on the goal, Madden uses Brunette as a decoy and then wrists a missile just inside the far post and under the cross bar. That right there is a snipe, and it's good for Madden's eighth of the season.
0:00 - As the horn sounds, Teemu Selanne and Marek Zidlicky (two heavyweights) are mixing it up a little bit. Calm down Teemu. Take your upcoming beating like a duck.Period 2
18:23 - Former Clarkson Knight Todd Marchant gets a step on Jared Spurgeon
and lets a hard, low shot go from the slot. Theodore is Spider Monkey quick to get his toe on the shot.
17:31 - Thank you Brandon McMillan. A Duck shot that misses the net wide bounces hard off the backboards to Selanne all alone on the other side of the net. Selanne has nothing but net to shoot at and he throws the puck at the empty net, but McMillan is standing near the crease and actually tips the shot wide when it would have been going right over the line. Nice tip Brandon.
15:01 - Brunette is having himself a game right now. Havlat carries deep into the Anaheim zone and has the puck poked off his stick, but Bruno is following the play and he snaps a quick shot on goal. Ellis makes that save, but the puck pops straight in the air and falls into the crease, but nobody can get to it before Ellis realizes where it is and pounces on it.
12:04 - The Wild's best shorthanded scoring threat, Cullen, has a golden chance for another as he steals the puck in the Anaheim zone and drives to the goal. He gets right in on Ellis but loses control just a bit and Ellis is able to control it. The Cullen rush provides a brief respite for Theodore, who is getting peppered on this Ducks power play.10:38 - MIN 1 - ANA 1 - A Duck power play goal seemed like a foregone conclusion the way they were firing away, and they finally are able to punch one past Theodore. It doesn't come easy, though. Ryan Getzlaf makes a brilliant pass from behind the net to Jason Blake in front, but the former Ferris State Bulldog and North Dakota Fighting Sioux has his sure goal denied on the goal line by Theo's pad. Unfortunately, Bobby Ryan is right there to clean up and he is able to push the rebound under the Wild keeper and get this thing tied up.
6:51 - Example #151 of why Ruutu is such a classless player. Off the draw on a Wild power play, he gets tangled with Bouchard and then grabs Butch's stick. He then falls to the ice to draw a penalty, which is exactly what the refs give to Bouchard. This is why the diving rule was instituted, but unfortunately, players like Ruutu get away with it more than a few times.
3:08 - Theodore has been absolutely spectacular tonight. He makes his 28th save of the night already, denying a point blank one-timer off the stick of Corey Perry. The Ducks have been throwing everything at the goal tonight, but Theo never seems to look fazed. He just keeps deflecting them away with ease.Period 3
17:05 - Another great play by Bruno as he makes a sick behind-the-back pass to Eric Nystrom cutting hard to the net. Ny puts a backhand shot right on, but Ellis makes that stop. The puck trickles perilously through the crease, but Madden can't quite reach it as it slides away from danger.
14:23 - Phew! I don't know how Perry misses this one and I do not care in the least. He gets down low in the Wild zone and cuts right in front of the net as Theo gets out of position for a rare spell. With a wide open net to shoot at, Perry somehow puts his shot over the cage.
10:16 - Theodore is the man, plain and simple. Just seconds after sliding over to his right to rob Selanne on the doorstep, he snares another Selanne bid from the slot with the lobster mitt. Jose Theodore is our backup goalie. Do you ever wonder how that happens? Our goaltending duo is ridiculously spectacular.
5:52 - Marchant tries to circle the net and stuff one in but it ends up on the stick of Sexton in front. Theodore somehow gets his toe out to deflect the puck just inches wide of the net. 4:57 - MIN 2 - ANA 1 - Clayton Stoner = clutch. When he wants to, Stoner can call his shot off the glass and in, but sensing the need for a big goal, Stoner goes the more conventional route. He gains the Anaheim zone and then winds up for a slap shot that skids along the ice and through the wickets of McEhlhinny...I mean Ellis. Wow!
2:00 - MIN 2 - ANA 2 - And there's the answer from the Ducks. Once again, it's Blake getting a quick shot in from in tight and Theodore makes another save. But the rebound pops right to Francois Beauchemin pinching in deep and he punches it past the outstretched arm of Theo. Curses!
0:00 - What a game! We are heading to overtime with at least one point in the standings. It's going to be two when Antti Miettinen ends this thing in overtime. You heard me. Mittens will win it. Overtime
4:54 - Theo is using every part of his body to make the stops tonight. He gets a shoulder on a rocket shot by Selanne right at the start of the extra session.
0:51.3 - Cal Clutterbuck
makes a steal at his own blueline and has a clear breakaway the other way. He gets in on Ellis and tries to stuff one in, but Ellis denies that attempt, and then turns away Havlat's follow up attempt. 0:09.6 - MIN 3 - ANA 2 - Did I not tell you that Bouchard would win this in overtime? He comes through in the clutch once again on yet another clean breakaway. Burns causes a turnover in the Wild zone and then flips the puck to the other blue line where Bouchard is camped out all alone. He races in on Ellis, makes a move and then tucks one between the Anaheim keeper's legs to beat the buzzer...and the Ducks. The Wild gets a yoooooge two points and moves back into a tie for fifth in the West. Wowie Zowie!