Game 3 - Ducks 2, Minnesota 1
Official Scoresheet Official Stats
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Although the venue changed, the result was exactly the same
Despite playing a Minnesota team that has been much better at home this season, the Ducks continued the type of play that has given them the edge in the series. Their 2-1 victory at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul gave them a three-games-to-none lead in the Western Conference Quarterfinal series.
Andy McDonald and Rob Niedermayer had goals for Anaheim, while the Ducks held the Wild to just 20 shots on goal. And Ilya Bryzgalov, making his third start of the series, saved all of them until a Wild power play goal late in the third.
"We did what we wanted to at home and coming out here was obviously a big challenge," said Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer. "We wanted to come out here tonight and play as well as we could, and obviously we did that."
McDonald put the Ducks on the scoreboard with 3:55 left in the first when he smoothly redirected a Chris Pronger slapshot behind Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, who had slid to the top of the crease.
After a scoreless second, Rob Niedermayer gave Anaheim a huge insurance goal halfway through the third. Niedermayer skated up the right side and shot a backhander over the shoulder of Backstrom. It was Niedermayer's first goal since Feb. 6 at San Jose. The normally boisterous Minnesota crowd - which was announced at a season high of 19,224 - suddenly became very quiet.
They got back into it with 38.2 seconds left in the third when Petteri Nummelin one-timed a Pierre-Marc Bouchard pass on the power play past Bryzgalov to make it 2-1. The Ducks went a man down when both Travis Moen and Samuel Pahlsson took questionable roughing penalties, along with Minnesota's Branko Radivojevic.
But the Ducks, as they did most of the game, gave Minnesota no decent chances over the closing seconds and iced it.
"We knew Minnesota was going to come out and play hard," said Rob Niedermayer. "Bryz really helped us and I thought in the third we really limited their chances. I thought our third period was the best one we played all series."
The game wasn't nearly as physical as the first two (notably Game 2 in Anaheim), though neither team put many shots on net. Anaheim had just 19 shots on goal, but converted two of them. Minnesota had high hopes with the series shifting back home. The Wild were 29-7-5 at Xcel Energy Center this season, and just 19-19-3 on the road.
The Ducks will look for the sweep when they go at it again with the Wild in Game 4 on Tuesday at 6 p.m. (PDT).
20:00 - END OF GAME. The Ducks hang on over the last 38.2 seconds to win it.
19:21 - MIN GOAL (POWER PLAY) - PETTERI NUMMELIN - Nummelin takes a Pierre-Marc Bouchard pass to the slot and one-times it past Bryzgalov. It's now 2-1 Ducks and the fans comes to life temporarily.
18:39 - Samuel Pahlsson and Travis Moen of the Ducks and Branko Radivojevic of the Wild each get roughing minors for getting a little chippy.
17:23 - Francois Beauchemin took a puck to the face and skated off.
Some Wild fans are hitting the exits with about 5 minutes remaining.
9:43 - ANA GOAL - ROB NIEDERMAYER - Niedermayer skates down the right side and unloads a wrister that flies over the shoulder of Backstrom. Chris Pronger is given an assist on the goal, his second of the game. It's Niedermayer's first goal since Feb. 6 at San Jose. It's 2-0 Ducks and this crowd just got very quiet.
9:32 - Heck of a sequence with a long stretch of continuous play featuring several Anaheim scoring chances. But they don't cash in, and we finally get a whistle when Bryz gloves a soft Wild shot.
They just announced the crowd at just over 19,000, including standing room.
0:14 - MIN PENALTY - Adam Hall, 2 min. tripping. Ducks are 1-3 on the PP so far.
0:00 - Here we go with the third. Some Minnesota Twin appeared on the video board urging the fans to get into it.
0:00 - End of period. Anaheim hangs tough and still leads it 1-0. The Wild are outshooting the Ducks, 14-13.
The Minnesota crowd apparently thinks they're getting jobbed on every non-call when they think they've seen a penalty
17:47 - ANA PENALTY - Teemu Selanne, 2 min. goaltender interference. MIN PENALTY - Nicklas Backstrom, 2 min. diving. Selanne collides with Backstrom and both players go down. Selanne definitely doesn't agree with his penalty, while Backstrom gets nabbed for overacting.
15:43 - Bryz makes a nice glove save on a Pierre-Marc Bouchard slap shot.
14:21 - ANA PENALTY - Chris Kunitz, 2 min. tripping. Minnesota is 0-3 on the power play and 0-13 in the series.
10:31 - MIN PENALTY - Brian Rolston, 2 min. hooking. Rolston does not agree.
A Minnesota fan seated to the left of the penalty box is offering a mouthful to Ryan Getzlaf. Security?
4:22 - ANA PENALTY - Ryan Getzlaf, 2 min. tripping.
0:00 - And we're underway in the second.
20:00 - And that's the end of the period. Ducks continue the strong play that gave them a 2-0 lead in this series. They outshoot Minnesota 7-6 and make one of them count. It's 1-0 Anaheim.
16:57 - ANA PENALTY - Ryan Shannon, 2 min. hooking
16:05 - ANA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ANDY MCDONALD - Chris Pronger fires a slapper that McDonald redirects behind Backstrom, who was out at the tip of the crease. It's 1-0 Anaheim and the crowd boos lustily.
15:57 - MIN PENALTY - Wes Walz, 2 min. holding. Walz holds Travis Moen against the boards in the Wild end. Here's something you don't hear every day. The Wild PA guy announces it like, "Two minutes for holding?" as if he doesn't agree.
A sign in the crowd refers to "Duck Hunting." How original.
12:01 - Bryz makes a nice stop from a point-blank Stephane Veilleux effort.
Shots against the glass make a different noise here than at Honda Center. .
11:07 - Bryzgalov lets a hard shot trickle past him but it's just wide of the right post. It hits the board and comes back to him, so he quickly smothers it.
There are three guys here at the game dressed as the Hanson brothers from the movie "Slap Shot". They even have fake blood on their face and jerseys. Brilliant.
The Wild have dudes cleaning the ice during the intermissions. Advantage: Honda Center.
7:16 - ANA PENALTY - Rob Niedermayer, 2 min. holding. Niedermayer gets his stick stuck in Martin Skoula's body. First Wild power play.
6:26 - Corey Perry tries to sneak a backhand in but Niklas Backstrom dives on it.
4:49 - MIN PENALTY - Marian Gaborik, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks are on their first power play.
0:00 - And we're underway after an impressive pregame in-arena presentation on the video screen. That is followed by 12 youth players skating out to center ice holding a giant "State of Hockey" flag as the Ducks and Wild hit the ice. And, by the way, this crowd is LOUD. They all yell, "LET'S PLAY HOCKEY!" before the faceoff. If you don't get goosebumps watching all this, you have no soul.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Ilya Bryzgalov; MIN Niklas Backstrom
Scratches - ANA Sebastien Caron, Ric Jackman, Mark Hartigan, George Parros, Todd Marchant, Aaron Rome; MIN Manny Fernandez, Shawn Belle, Dominic Moore, Derek Boogard, Kurtis Foster, Matt Foy
5 p.m. (PST) at Xcel Energy Center
TV: Fox Sports Prime Ticket Radio: AM 830
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Ducks and their 2-0 series lead take on the Wild tonight in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, in a place where Minnesota traditionally plays much better.
The Wild were 29-7-5 at Xcel Energy Center this season, and just 19-19-3 on the road. Of course, that's where they played their first two games of this series, as the Ducks won 2-1 and 3-2 at Honda Center.
The Ducks took a 2-0 lead in the series thanks to the latter victory Friday night. Defensmeman Francois Beauchemin had two goals and Ryan Getlzaf added a shorhanded score that turned into the game-winner. Ilya Bryzgalov, who has started both games in the series, had 30 saves Friday, including some impressive ones in the closing moments.
The key to both Ducks victories was special teams, notably their ability to shut down the Minnesota power play. The Wild forced the Ducks into several penalties in Game 2, but the Ducks held them 0-6 on the man-advantage. The Ducks tied for fifth in the NHL during the regular season on penalty kills, and Minnesota - which has struggled all season with the power play on the road - has found out why in this series.
The Wild are 0-for-10 with the man advantage in the series.
"Our guys have worked extremely hard at it," Carlyle said, adding: "We want to keep the ball rolling."
They will have to do so on an ice surface that is much faster than the one at Honda Center, thanks to the cooler Minnesota climate.
"It should be faster," Minnesota head coach Jacques Lemaire said. "If you have to buy a coffee, buy it early. Go to your seat. Get ready. Tie up your helmet. It's coming."
The crowd is sure to be loud Sunday, which can't hurt Minnesota. Anaheim's focus will be to play the same type of game that worked so well at home, with aggressive forechecking and hard-hitting defense.
"Obviously on the road you have to be a little smarter - especially the first game where they are going to be really pumped to play at home," said Ducks winger Teemu Selanne.
"The mentality of our group is that we are not taking anything for granted." Carlyle said after Saturday's practice in Anaheim. "The next game will be the toughest game. That's our mandate."
- Associated Press contributed to this report
|Team Stat Comparison|
Power Play Goals
Power Play Goals Allowed
Shorthanded Goals Allowed
Average Penalty Minutes