Ducks 3, Wild 2
By Chris DiPierro
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Dustin Penner, Corey Perry and Scott Niedermayer each scored and JS Giguere stopped 24 shots as the Ducks defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Sunday at Honda Center.
The victory puts Anaheim once again atop the NHL standings with 30 points and a record of 13-1-4.
"After that first loss up in Calgary, you want to be able to respond and stay positive and keep working hard," said Scott Niedermayer. "That's the way we played today and that's the way we want to prepare for every game."
After a scoreless first period, Penner (6, Green, Beauchemin) gave Anaheim a lead at 1:07 of the second period. Penner spun out of the corner to the left of Niklas Backstrom and fired the puck from a tough angle. The puck found its way through the netminder's legs to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Anaheim took a 2-0 lead at 5:41 of the second period when Perry (5, O'Brien, Getzlaf) cleaned up the rebound of a Shane O'Brien shot for his fifth goal of the season. O'Brien's shot from the point squirted through Backstrom and sat in the Minnesota crease where Perry swept it home.
"I think our guys did a good job of coming out in that first period and not getting bored, said Anaheim forward Ryan Getzlaf. "That's what Minnesota tends to do to guys. They try to lull you to sleep and then pounce on you. We did a great job of [avoiding] that tonight."
The Wild cut the Ducks' lead in half at 7:55 of the second period. Pierre-Marc Bouchard (2, Rolston, Walz) was the trailing forward on a Minnesota three-on-two break. The Wild winger took a pass, made a quick move to his backhand and flipped the puck under the crossbar to cut the Anaheim lead to 2-1.
Scott Niedermayer (5, Getzlaf, Selanne) regained the two-goal cushion for the Ducks on the power play at the 5:11 mark of the third period. Niedermayer put in the rebound of a Getzlaf shot for his fifth goal of the season.
"I knew there were some guys in front of the net and the goalie was out of position and I just threw it back in front," said Getzlaf. "I knew we had guys there. It just happened to end up on Scotty's stick. He happened to be in the right place."
Bouchard (3, White) got his second of the game to get the Wild within a goal with 52.3 seconds remaining in the game. Bouchard tipped in a shot by linemate Todd White to cut the Anaheim lead to 3-2.
"We couldn't change what happened in Calgary, but we sure could make an impact on what happened tonight," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "It was a positive that our work ethic was where we needed to be and our power play got us a goal late. We did a lot of things well."
The Ducks next face the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Honda Center.
NOTES: Ducks left wing Chris Kunitz missed his first game of the season after injuring his left hand on Friday in Calgary. Kunitz has an MRI scheduled for Monday... As a result of Kunitz's absence in the lineup, Travis Green played in his first game of the season. Green played on a line with Penner and Todd Marchant. Ryan Shannon moved up to skate with Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald...Tonight's game was the start of a five game homestand for the Ducks who have already played 10 of their first 17 games on Honda Center ice..The contest also marked Carlyle's 100th career NHL game behind the bench.