NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, February 1st
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (4-2-1) at Anaheim Ducks (3-1-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will shoot for a third straight victory
on Friday when they make a stop at the Honda Center to battle the Anaheim
The Wild's season has been a series of streaks so far. The team posted
consecutive wins to begin the campaign, then lost three in a row before
earning recent victories over Columbus and Chicago.
Minnesota's latest victory came Wednesday against the previously-unbeaten
Chicago Blackhawks. Matt Cullen scored the winner in the shootout, lifting the
home team to a 3-2 decision as Chicago dropped to 6-0-1 on the season.
Cullen also scored in regulation while Cal Clutterbuck scored the other goal
for the Wild, who are aiming for their first three-game win streak since March
29-April 1. Clutterbuck scored his first goal of the season after only
managing an assist in Minnesota's first six games.
"It was nice to get that goal and to be able to help the squad out," said
Clutterbuck. "It's nice to get that monkey off my back."
Josh Harding started the game in net for Minnesota, but was pulled after
giving up two goals on just four shots. Niklas Backstrom was stellar in
relief, turning aside all 28 shots he faced.
The Ducks are coming off Tuesday's shootout loss in San Jose. Logan Couture
tied the game late in regulation and Michal Handzus scored the lone shootout
goal to lift the Sharks to the 3-2 decision at HP Pavilion.
Couture found the back of the net with 2:45 remaining in the third period,
taking a drop pass from newcomer Scott Gomez and ripping a shot past Anaheim
goalie Jonas Hiller.
Handzus, the first participant in the shootout, beat Hiller over the glove.
Antti Niemi turned away the Ducks' first two shooters, Bobby Ryan and Corey
Perry, before getting a little help from the crossbar on Teemu Selanne's bid.
Francois Beauchemin and Matt Beleskey scored 59 seconds apart in the second
period for the Ducks, who have picked up at least a point in four of their
first five games (3-1-1).
Friday's game kicks off a three-game homestand for Anaheim, which will also
host Los Angeles and San Jose during this stay in Orange County. The Ducks are
1-1-0 at the Honda Center this season.
Minnesota has won four of six overall against the Ducks and has posted three
straight victories in Anaheim.
02/01 10:53:58 ET