Wild fall to Anaheim, 4-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Bobby Ryan scored two goals and set up another by rookie Dan Sexton, leading the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Jonas Hiller made 29 saves and Todd Marchant added a short-handed empty-netter with 10 seconds remaining for the Ducks, who played without center Ryan Getzlaf for the first time this season after he cut his right leg with his own skate during Saturday’s loss at San Jose.
Antti Miettinen and Kim Johnsson scored for the Wild, who squandered a chance to set a team record with their 11th win this month. At 10-5 in December, they have one more opportunity to do it, on Thursday against at home against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Ducks led 2-1 at the end of a penalty-free first period in which they outshot Minnesota 17-8 – their highest shot total in a first period this season.
Ryan opened the scoring at 7:08, intercepting Derek Boogaard’s attempted clearing pass in the neutral zone and carrying the puck back into the Minnesota end before beating Josh Harding high to the glove side with a 35-foot wrist shot from the slot for his 18th goal.
Miettinen tied it at 15:41 with his ninth goal, shooting the puck in off the skate of Anaheim forward Troy Bodie from the left of the crease after Mikko Koivu got the puck away from defenseman Brett Festerling and nudged it to Andrew Burnett.
But the Ducks regained the lead 35 seconds later when Sexton got a cross-ice pass from Ryan and beat Harding high to the glove side with a short wrist shot. Sexton has six goals and three assists in his first 12 NHL games after getting promoted from Manitoba of the AHL on Dec. 4.
The Ducks didn’t have a power play opportunity until late in the second period, when Eric Belanger was sent off for slashing Marchant and Kyle Brodziak got the gate 46 seconds later for holding Corey Perry.
Ryan made it 3-1 three seconds after the first penalty expired, converting a cross-ice pass through the crease from Saku Koivu for his 19th goal and his 100th NHL point.
Johnsson, who has scored in three straight games for the first time in his career, got Minnesota closer with his fifth of the season during a power play. Matt Beleskey was off for high-sticking Shane Hnidy when Johnsson beat Hiller to the glove with a one-timer from about 50 feet in the slot with 6:53 left.
The Ducks killed two more Minnesota power plays in the final 3:09.
The game was held up for a few moments after Harding was struck near the Adam’s apple by Parry’s wrist shot at 13:53 of the second. But the goalie just got the wind knocked out of him and remained in the game, finishing with 28 saves.
NOTES: Ryan is tied with Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone for the most goals this season by American-born players. Anaheim’s Ryan Whitney is leading American-born defensemen with 22 points. The U.S. Olympic roster will be announced on Friday. … Harding made his seventh start this season and first since Dec. 12, a 4-3 loss at Vancouver. He has yet to start in a home game. … Anaheim C Ryan Carter returned to the lineup after missing 22 games with a broken foot. … Anaheim enforcer George Parros was a healthy scratch on his 30th birthday. … The teams completed the four-game season series, with each team winning twice in its building.
Updated December 30, 2009