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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 5th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (0-1-0) at Minnesota Wild (0-0-1), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to rebound from a lopsided loss in their season opener when they visit the Minnesota Wild in Saturday's clash at Xcel Energy Center.
The Ducks began their season Wednesday night in Colorado and were slammed 6-1 by the Avalanche. However, the game most likely will be remembered for being the NHL head coaching debut of Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.
It was quite a debut for Roy, who got into a shouting match with Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau after he felt Anaheim's Ben Lovejoy delivered a knee-on- knee hit to Nathan MacKinnon. Roy nearly toppled over the glass partition separating the clubs and was called "classless" by Boudreau as he accused Roy of yapping at his players.
Roy was fined $10,000 by the NHL on Thursday, but disputed Boudreau's claims as to what happened.
Anaheim, which won the Pacific Division title last season, allowed the Avalanche to score the game's first six goals before Jakob Silfverberg spoiled the shutout bid with seven seconds left in the third period.
Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth allowed all six goals in the setback and Jonas Hiller is expected to get the start in Saturday's contest.
"The tone tonight was set in the second. We had our few chances on the power play and we were pressing hard in the first. Now we have to get up tomorrow and get a good practice in. We had a lot breakdowns in the defensive zone. Things happened tonight that should not happen," said Fasth.
Anaheim is opening the season on a three-game road trip and will complete that swing Sunday in Winnipeg. Following tomorrow's game against the Jets, the Ducks will head to Southern California for a five-game homestand.
Ducks forward Teemu Selanne is not expected to play in tonight's game as Boudreau will rest the 43-year-old in the first half of back-to-back games. Selanne should return for Sunday's game in Winnipeg, where he began his NHL career in 1992.
The Wild also lost their first game of the season, but Minnesota was able to record a point in Thursday's shootout loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings. Jeff Carter tied the game late in the third period and beat Niklas Backstrom again in the shootout to lift the Kings to a 3-2 win in St. Paul.
For the Wild, it was their first ever loss in a home opener. Minnesota is now 11-0-1 with a tie all-time in home openers.
Matt Cooke scored 64 seconds into his Wild debut and Jonas Brodin also had a goal in the loss. Backstrom gave up two goals on 18 shots, including Carter's backhand try on a rebound with 6:46 left in regulation.
"I think we played pretty good," Cooke said. "I think we're happy, obviously not content, but maybe a few areas we can clean up."
Anaheim won all three meetings against the Wild last season and has taken four straight in this series overall. The Ducks also have claimed the last three encounters in St. Paul after losing their previous five tests at Xcel Energy Center.
10/05 10:35:58 ET