Yo, yo, yo State of Hockey Legion!
The Wild skates for its third-straight win tonight in Anaheim against District 5, also known as the Ducks. A victory tonight will mark the club’s first three-game win streak on the season. It also will break a seven-game home win streak from the Ducks. However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Tonight, Minnesota starts rookie goaltender Darcy Kuemper. This is the netminder third-career NHL start. He’s 1-1-0 with a 2.22 goals against average and .918 save percentage.
Upfront, the Wild insert tough-guy Zenon Konopka back into the lineup. He’ll center the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell and Mike Rupp. That means Kyle Brodziak will move up a spot between Dany Heatley and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Mikael Granlund will be the healthy scratch at forward.
Also joining the lineup tonight will be defenseman Nate Prosser. He’ll be in for Justin Falk.
Out of the lineup and on Injured Reserve are Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) and Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis).
The Wild sports it road whites, while the Ducks wear its dark blue ‘D’ wing sweaters.
If social media is your bag, follow @mnwildLIVE for in-game updates, as this page is saved for period recaps.
Let’s get the party started!
Period 1 - MIN 0, ANA 2
The Wild trails early as the Ducks struck pay dirt first and second.
The Ducks broke in on a 2-on-1 early in the first. Corey Perry fired a backdoor pass to Ryan Getzlaf breaking hard to the net. Getzlaf only had to redirect it past Kuemper. The second assist went to Kyle Palmieri.
Ageless wonder Teemu Selanne added to the Ducks' lead with a nifty move to the middle of the ice and then fired a backhand low to the blocker side. Luca Sbisa found Selanne in the neutral zone and the forward did the rest. Bobby Ryan was credited with the second assist on the play.
Sure, the Wild spotted the Ducks a couple of goals that period, but I'll chalk that up to jet lag. The club has its ice legs back and look for big things our of Minnesota in the second.
Period 2 - MIN 0, ANA 3
The Ducks continued to build on its lead, scoring first on the Wild.
Another weird bounce led to the Ducks' third goal. Daniel Winnik tried a centering pass that bounced off the back of Ryan Suter's leg and landed between the legs of Darcy Kuemper. It looked the the netminder had it under him and frozen, but there was no whistle and Matt Beleskey poked home the biscuit. Andrew Cogliano picked up the second assist.
Well, I think the Wild was just playing possum those first two period and are really going to show their stuff in the final frame. The Wild holds a 23-18 shot advantage, including 15-6 in the second, and things are going to start going in. I have a good feeling.
Period 3 - MIN 2, ANA 3
The Wild made things interesting down three goals in the third period. Minnesota scored two, but was unable to complete the comeback.
Kyle Brodziak got the Wild on the board just 29 seconds into the period. He took a Ducks turnover in the offensive zone and rifled a slapper past Hiller. The right-shot Brodziak blasted it low to the blocker side of the left-glove Hiller for his second of the season.
Devin Setoguchi followed that effort up with a slapper of his own. After making a spin move to avoid a Ducks checker, Setoguchi composed himself and then ripped a bomb past Hiller's glove. Assisting on the play was Mike Rupp and Ryan Suter.
It was a valiant effort in the third period, but Minnesota just couldn't mount the full comeback. The Wild returns home on Sunday to host the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m. State of Hockey Time.