WILD (4-2-1) AT DUCKS (3-1-1)
TV: FS-N, FS-WI, FS-W
MORNING SKATE NOTES
Season series: This is the first of three meetings between the teams this season. The teams split four games last season, with the road team winning each time.
Big story: The Ducks look to bring momentum and energy into their three-game homestand. Anaheim went toe-to-toe with the still-undefeated San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on January 29, earning a point in a hard-fought 3-2 shootout loss.
Ducks: The Anaheim Ducks have made a habit of finding quality players late in the first round, and their luck the last few years was on display Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks, when Rickard Rakell (30th, 2011) centered a line with Kyle Palmieri (26th, 2009) and Emerson Etem (29th, 2010), making his NHL debut.
Etem had one shot in 7:51 of ice time against the Sharks, and earned a positive review from coach Bruce Boudreau.
"He was fine," said Boudreau. "He didn't look like a deer in the headlights or anything. He looked like he took it in stride. It was a game. He did his job."
A native of Long Beach, Calif., Etem is excited to make his home debut Friday. In attendance will be Etem's parents, as well as a number of other friends and family members.
"I'll have a lot," Etem said. "Maybe 15, 20 [people]. It's going to be quite the crowd."
Wild: The Wild headed on a two-game trip out west on a solid note as they ended the Chicago Blackhawks' six-game season-opening win streak with a 3-2 shootout win Wednesday. Cal Clutterbuck's goal 59 seconds into the second tied the game, and Zach Parise and Matt Cullen scored in the shootout.
Niklas Backstrom -- who relieved starter Josh Harding 6:45 into the game -- stopped Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp in the shootout to seal the victory.
Making the win even sweeter was that it came in the second half of a back-to-back for the Wild.
"We have high expectations for this team, and there's a difference between expectations and results," Cullen told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Games like this is how you build confidence and start getting that belief that you can be a good team."
The win also allowed the Wild to stay a point ahead of the Vancouver Canucks atop the Northwest Division.
Who's hot: Ducks forward Daniel Winnik has a point in four of his five games this season. His five goals in five games this season leaves him three shy of the eight he scored in 84 games last season with the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks.
Injury report: Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon is questionable due to a sore foot. … With the exception of rookie defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who has not played this season due to a concussion, the Ducks are fully healthy.
|Back to top ↑|