The Anaheim Ducks have risen to the top of the Pacific Division
largely due to the stellar play of Corey Perry and Ryan
An outstanding home record has played a role, too, and that may
not bode well for a Minnesota Wild team that has struggled on the
Anaheim seeks a fourth straight victory Wednesday night and
sixth in a row over Minnesota, which begins a stretch playing seven
of eight away from home.
The Ducks (21-7-5) earned solid road victories over Chicago and
St. Louis on Friday and Saturday, respectively, before improving to
11-0-2 at home with Monday’s 5-2 win over the New York
Anaheim, the only team without a regulation loss at home,
struggled early after facing two of the Western Conference’s best
clubs. Perry had two goals and scored for a career-high sixth
straight contest, which matches the longest streak in the NHL this
“We’re only human, and we knew last week was a big emotional
week for us,” Perry said. “Those were big games for us, but we had
to get ourselves up for this one, as well.”
Getzlaf had an assist to extend his point streak to 14, totaling
10 goals and 11 assists. His streak is officially 12 according to
the NHL – one shy of the Blues’ Alexander Steen for longest in the
league this season – because Getzlaf missed three games Nov. 10-14
due to injury.
Perry scored a power-play goal for the third time in four games,
and the Ducks have at least one in seven of eight. They converted
just 10.8 percent of their power plays through their first 21 games
but have been successful on 30.6 percent in the last 12.
“At the start of the year, we were so focused on getting off to
a good start. We weren’t really practicing our special teams much,”
said Getzlaf, who has eight power-play points during his 14-game
streak. “We did a great job focusing in on those and understanding
that in order to be successful long-term, you need to get those at
Getzlaf and Perry assisted on Nick Bonino’s power-play goal in a
4-3 overtime win at Minnesota on Oct. 5 in the teams’ only meeting
Wild points leader Zach Parise scored twice in that contest and
also had two goals in Sunday’s 3-1 home win over San Jose.
Minnesota (18-9-5) picked up its third victory in four tries
despite recording a season-low 13 shots.
“It was a hard game,” Parise said. “We were able to hang on and
win, so that’s important for us.”
The Wild, though, have lost three straight away from home while
getting held to two goals. They’re among the league’s
lowest-scoring teams on the road at 1.86 per game while posting a
5-6-3 record. They visit San Jose and Colorado before returning
home Tuesday to face Vancouver, then road dates with Pittsburgh,
the New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Winnipeg follow.
“We’re a team that’s going to go out and play responsible, take
care of our own end, and capitalize on our opportunities,” forward
Matt Cooke said. “That should suit us well heading on the
Josh Harding made 37 saves Sunday and ranks among the league
leaders with a 1.50 goals-against average, including 1.86 in 10
It’s unclear if Harding or Niklas Backstrom will start against
Anaheim, which could counter with Jonas Hiller.
Hiller made 30 saves to beat Backstrom in the first meeting and
has won his last four starts against Minnesota with a 1.71 GAA.
Anaheim’s five-game win streak over the Wild includes four
one-goal victories and is the longest in series history.