The Minnesota Wild had all the fixings to whip up a huge comeback against the Anaheim Ducks last night. After finding themselves in a 3-0 hole by the middle of the second period and in the Ducks’ home barn to boot, things were certainly not looking very good for Mikko Koivu and his squad as he faced his big brother Saku and his squad.
Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne (#teemuforever–he’s just a special kind of hockey player, regardless of your fan stripes) launched the Ducks ahead in the first period with a goal apiece and had Anaheim fans feeling fine at the first intermission.
Zenon Konopka took on Patrick Maroon in the second period in what was probably an attempt to rustle up some energy for his team. It’s a strategy that does work sometimes, but it’s not infallible and it can backfire too. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, Matt Beleskey put the home team up by a trio of goals. That goal was particularly unlucky for Darcy Kuemper because the puck was sitting on the good side of the goal line right by his pad, but Beleskey came in and just jabbed it ever so slightly over the line for the goal.
That goal had to be frustrating for the Wild to see and was probably a big topic of conversation in the Wild locker room during the second intermission–which is why they stormed back out for the third period and Kyle Brodziak spoiled Jonas Hiller‘s shutout bid after just 29 seconds. Devin Setoguchi added a slapper about 10 minutes later with a helper from Mike Rupp–his first such assist with Minnesota–and from prolific assistance-provider Ryan Suter.
But even though Minnesota kept trying to tie it and see if they could earn at least one point from the experience, it was just not to be and the Ducks nabbed the 3-2 win. Still, the way the visitors hustled, even though they may have been tired from being on the second end of a back-to-back involving travel, showed some definite heart and a refusal to accept a bad start without fighting a little.
The Wild will be back at home tomorrow to face the Edmonton Oilers, a team they defeated 3-1 last month in their first meeting. But what comes after for Minnesota may be even more intriguing, exciting or worrying: they’ll be the next contestant on the hit new game show “Attempt to end the Chicago Blackhawks win streak,” provided the Detroit Red Wings don’t do exactly that in the Sunday matinee.