Parise leads Wild past Ducks, 4-2
Zach Parise had a goal and two assists, Mikael Granlund scored the go-ahead goal on a power play early in the second period and Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves for the Minnesota Wild in a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
Jason Pominville and Erik Haula also scored for the Wild, who are 9-3-1 in their last 13 games after ending December with six straight losses. Kuemper is 6-2-1 with a 1.85 goals-against average in nine starts since getting recalled from the minors on Jan. 2.
Back indoors following their 3-0 victory at Dodger Stadium over the Kings on Saturday, the Ducks lost for only the fourth time in their last 25 games after coming in an NHL-best 39-10-5. Dustin Penner and Mathieu Perreault scored for Anaheim, and Jonas Hiller stopped 29 shots.
After going 0 for 21 on the power play in its previous eight games, Minnesota took a 2-1 lead 13 seconds into the second period while Penner was off for slashing Jonas Brodin. Granlund cruised down the slot and redirected Parise’s cross-ice feed past Hiller’s stick for his fourth goal.
Both of Minnesota’s third-period goals came on deflections of shots by defenseman Marco Scandella from the left point — one by Parise with 13:25 remaining, the other by Haula with 10:39 to play.
Pominville opened the scoring at 7:57 of the first with his 21st of the season, banking the puck in off Hiller’s left leg from behind the net after Granlund’s one-timer from the high slot was blocked by Matt Beleskey.
Penner tied it at 18:13 with his 13th goal, beating Kuemper high to the glove side with a one-timer from the left circle after Ryan Getzlaf set him up from behind the net. But Penner went to the penalty box just 19 seconds later, setting up the power play that resulted in Granlund’s goal.
Defenseman Luca Sbisa returned to the Ducks’ lineup for the first time since Nov. 22 after missing 29 games because of a torn tendon in his right hand, and picked up the first two penalties of the game — both for hooking in the opening period.
The Ducks got their first power-play opportunity at 7:34 of the second after a holding call against Mike Rupp, but looked as though they were the ones who were short-handed. Hiller stoned Matt Cooke on a 5-foot wrist shot to the glove side, and the Wild had a 2-on-1 moments later before Ryan Suter’s 40-foot wrist shot from the left circle slid just wide of the right post.
Anaheim began an 11-game stretch in which all but one will be on home ice, including five straight at Honda Center coming out of the Olympic break.
NOTES: Anaheim D Cam Fowler blocked a slap shot by Nino Niederreiter with 35 seconds left in the second period and slumped to the ice, but continued playing while favoring his right leg until the horn sounded. Fowler was back on the ice for the start of the third. … The Ducks were 23-4-2 during Sbisa’s absence. … Teemu Selanne has four goals in 36 games since Oct. 20, when he became the first NHL player 43 or older to score in three consecutive games since Gordie Howe did it at age 51 during the 1979-80 season. … Minnesota is 21-1-3 when leading after two periods.