Ducks Fight Off Wild

After two tough road losses against division rivals, the
Anaheim Ducks returned home Tuesday night to face the Minnesota Wild.

The
Ducks’ lineup has been plagued with injuries all season long, including
forwards Teemu Selanne and Joffrey Lupul, and with Ryan Getzlaf being added to
that list over the weekend, the game against the Wild was going to be another
tough test.

“Teemu’s been out for a while, but Getz goes down and like
I’ve said before, that’s a lot of points and a lot of offensive production you’re
missing,” stated Ducks’ forward Bobby Ryan.

However, the Ducks came out strong in the first period with
Ryan scoring the first goal of the game at 7:08.

The Wild came back and tied it
up about eight and a half minutes later off of an Antti Miettinen follow-up
shot. Fortunately for the Ducks, the tie did not last long as Dan Sexton, a
rookie on fire, scored sixth goal in only twelve NHL games, giving the Ducks a
2-1 lead going into the second period.

The first period was also a rare one for the Ducks and their
fans because neither team had a single penalty called against them in the first
twenty minutes of play. However, the same could not be said for the second
period.

The second period contained three ten-minute misconducts, to Derek Boogaard
and John Scott of the Wild and Troy Bodie of the Ducks, as well as four
two-minutes penalties. The Ducks had a 75-second two-man advantage late in the
period, and Bobby Ryan scored weak-side post exactly one second after the first
penalty was expired. This was not only his second goal of the night, but also
his 100th career NHL point and it gave the Ducks a two-goal going
into the final twenty minutes.

The Wild, however, were not willing to go down with out a
fight.

At 13:07, Kim Johnsson scored on a power play opportunity cutting the
lead down to one and giving the Wild plenty of time to tie the game. Then, a
few minutes later, Ducks’ captain Scott Niedermayer was called for hooking
giving the Wild another power play, but the Ducks were able to kill it.

Less
than 30 seconds after the Niedermayer penalty was killed, the Ducks got
caught with another penalty when Nick Boynton was called for high sticking. This gave the Wild a two-man advantage after removing goaltender Josh Harding.

Fortunately for the Ducks, Todd Marchant was able to score the shorthanded,
empty-netter, sealing the Ducks 4-2 victory.

“It’s another step in the right direction,” Marchant said after the game. “We can’t take one step forward, two steps back.”

The Ducks now go back out on the road for three games,
starting with a New Year’s Eve match-up against the Dallas Stars.

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