NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, March 1st
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (10-7-2) at Anaheim Ducks (14-3-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks will aim for their eighth consecutive
home win when they welcome the Minnesota Wild for Friday's battle at the
With a 14-3-1 overall record, the Ducks have played well everywhere this year,
but the team hasn't lost a game in Orange County since a 5-0 rout and the
hands of Vancouver in their home opener on Jan. 25.
Since then Anaheim has rattled off seven straight wins as the host, including
Wednesday's 5-1 pasting of the Nashville Predators.
The Ducks had a six-game win streak halted Monday in nearby Los Angeles, but
was able to get back on track against the Preds. Kyle Palmieri posted his
first career hat trick in Wednesday's blowout.
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf assisted on all three of Palmieri's goals, while
Nick Bonino and Saku Koivu each scored once for the Ducks, who finished
February with 11 wins to match a franchise record for victories in a given
"It was a pretty awesome feeling," Palmieri said of his hat trick. "It was
very nice of Perry to assist on all three of them. I think our line played
well tonight and I was lucky enough to get the bounces in the right areas. It
was an awesome time."
Rookie netminder Viktor Fasth suffered the first setback of his NHL career in
the 5-2 loss in Los Angeles on Monday, but bounced back by stopping 20-of-21
shots in Wednesday's win.
Due to a quirk in the shortened schedule, the Ducks will play their next three
games against the Coyotes. The odd three-game series begins with two games in
Phoenix on Saturday and Monday before Anaheim hosts the Coyotes next Friday.
Minnesota has four wins over its last five games and recorded its second
straight victory Thursday night at Phoenix. Dany Heatley scored twice for the
Wild, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead before holding on for a 4-3 decision at
Heatley's second goal of the contest and seventh of the season put Minnesota
ahead 3-0 just over six minutes into the second period and the Wild would lead
by a 4-1 count after the second period. Keith Yandle and Shane Doan would each
score late in the third period for the Coyotes, but the Wild prevented Phoenix
from drawing even.
"We came out really strong but then let them get back into it," said Heatley.
"It's not something we want to allow to happen every night because you'll
starting finding yourself losing more than winning."
Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon each scored a goal for the Wild, while Niklas
Backstrom made 25 saves in the win.
The Wild improved to 3-5-1 as the visiting team this season, winning for the
third time in their last five away games.
Anaheim posted a 3-1 win over a visiting Wild club on Feb. 1. Palmieri posted
a pair of goals in that contest to help the Ducks win their second straight
game in this series. Minnesota has lost in four of its past seven trips to the
03/01 10:50:24 ET