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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 Honda Center.
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 month.
"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 Jobing.com Arena.
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 Honda Center.
03/01 10:50:24 ET