In his first start of the season, J.S. Giguere had 23 saves, but took the 2-0 loss as counterpart Josh Harding saved all 37 shots he faced.
ANAHEIM – The Ducks are missing a few pieces from the team that took out Minnesota in last year’s Western Conference Quarterfinals. And although they got one of them back, it wasn’t enough to deny an undefeated Wild team looking for revenge.
Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere made his first start of the season after sitting out the first six games while recovering from sports hernia surgery, and took the 2-0 loss in front of a sellout crowd of 17,174 at Honda Center.
"I felt pretty good," Giguere said. "I felt pretty strong, you know pretty good shape. The timing was a little bit off, every once in awhile, that’s going to come as you play. I’m kind of a little bit behind the eight-ball right now with everybody else, but I think if you have good practice habits and you work hard, these things should resolve themselves."
Minnesota’s two second-period goals by Brian Rolston and Mark Parrish were all they needed, as backup goalie Josh Harding stopped all 37 Anaheim shots he faced. Harding got the start since it was the second game in as many nights for the Wild, who won 3-2 in Phoenix behind No. 1 netminder Nicklas Backstrom on Saturday.
"Obviously Josh played a great game over there and we got to tip our cap to him ," said Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, "and we just got to do a better job of getting to that net and getting in front of him so he can’t see that puck."
The Wild pushed their undefeated record to 5-0-0 while the Ducks fell to 2-4-1.
Giguere held Minnesota scoreless on nine shots in the first period, but Harding had the same impact on the Ducks, making 14 saves. Despite the dearth of goals, the opening period wasn’t short on action. Brad May and Minnesota enforcer Derek Boogard exchanged punches 14:18 into the period, then Ryan Getzlaf and the Wild’s Nick Schultz did the same a minute later.
Parros and Boogard went at it 5:36 into the second period, both throwing several blows before Parros got the takedown.
It was all the extension of a contentious playoff series last year in which Boogard instigated a brawl during warmups of the Ducks’ victory in Game 5. That was a game Anaheim’s Brad May missed after being suspended for a blindside hit on Minnesota’s Kim Johnsson.
On this night Minnesota got revenge early in the second period, as Rolston connected 2:04 into it. Francois Beauchemin never came toward Rolston on a 2-on-1 rush, so Rolston unleashed a slap shot that flew over Giguere’s right shoulder and popped the water bottle.
"He’s got a good shot and it was a 2 on 1," Giguere said. "I was a little bit preoccupied with the guy that was coming backdoor and you know it’s a good shot and sometimes a good shot will beat you even in today’s hockey, there’s not much I can do."
The Ducks did all they could to counter, taking 19 shots, including several on their three power plays. Nothing got through and the Wild made matters worse with a pretty goal with 8:10 left in the period. On a 3-on-2 Rush, Mikko Koivu gave the puck off to Branko Radivojevic, who made a nice cross-ice pass to Parrish for the one-timer.
That gave Minnesota a 2-0 that held up for the duration, as the Ducks could only manage four shots in the final 20 minutes. Anaheim was 0-8 on the power play in the contest.
Anaheim played the entire second and third periods without forward Todd Bertuzzi, who went off with an undisclosed injury with a little more than five minutes left in the first.
Tomorrow night Anaheim will face another familiar opponent from the 2007 playoffs, as they take on Detroit at Honda Center. And they will certainly need to generate more offense to challenge a Red Wings team that beat the Ducks 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 3.
"I think we’ve had some opportunities to score goals and their just not going in right now," Getzlaf said. "This is one night where our goalie played well and I think we have to leave at that and move on and get ready for tomorrow night."
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks can't find the net all game long, as Josh Harding makes 37 saves and earns the shutout. The crowd boos as the horn sounds. Ducks lose 2-0 and fall to 2-4-1, while Minnesota stays undefeated at 5-0-0.
18:29 - ANA Penalty - 2 min. too many men on the ice. It doesn't look good for the Ducks.
17:14 - Harding is knocked down after making yet another save, and there is slight shoving between the Ducks and Wild afterward, but not much more. Harding is slow to rise, but appears alright.
10:52 - Minnesota kills yet another Ducks power play.
8:52 - MIN Penalty - Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks go on the power play desperate to generate something.
8:00 - We're eight minutes into it and the Ducks have one shot on goal in the period. Not a great way to claw back.
3:11 - ANA Penalty - Rob Niedermayer, 2 min. elbowing and MIN Penalty - Kurtis Foster, 2 min. cross checking. Niedermayer and Foster get into it near the Wild bench after Niedermayer knocks Foster down to the ice.
2:05 - ANA Penalty - Andy McDonald, 2 min. hooking.
0:00 - We're back at it in the third, with the Ducks having some serious ground to cover.
During the intermission, we have our first contest between two videos sent in for the What Would You Do For a Honda Ridgeline contest. The clear winner was a guy who stood in front of a makeshift goal in nothing but a pair of shorts and took shot after shot from the paintball gun. The crowd enthusiastically cheers to vote for that one. We'll be putting that and the other winning videos on the website this season.
2nd Period 20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Wild get two goals to put the Ducks in a hole going into the third. Anaheim is still outshooting them, now 33-18, but Harding is shutting the Ducks down. We'll be back.
16:41 - The Wild kill it with relative ease.
14:41 - MIN Penalty - Branko Radivojevic, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks get another power play.
During the intermission, the video board shows a montage of Ducks hits and fights to the tune of Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love". It's a nice touch.
13:59 - Away from the puck, Moen looks like he wants to square off with former teammate Keith Carney, but Carney doesn't bite.
The Honda Center DJ plays "Butterfly" by Crazytown. I haven't heard that one in awhile.
11:50 - MINNESOTA GOAL - MARK PARRISH - The Wild get a pretty goal on a 3-on-2 rush, as Mikko Koivu gives it off to Branko Radivojevic, who slides a nice cross-ice pass to Parrish for the one-timer as Giguere couldn't slide over in time. It's 2-0 Minnesota. TV shows a throng of Wild moms in red jerseys showing their approval.
8:49 - The Wild kill the penalty after several chances for Anaheim.
8:10 - Another nice Harding save on a Pronger rocket.
7:50 - McDonald tries to jam it in from in close, but Harding makes his 24th save.
6:49 - MIN Penalty - Brian Rolston, 2 min. holding. The Ducks go on the 5 on 3.
6:49 - During the delayed penalty against the Wild, the Ducks have several shots at a loose puck in front of the Wild net, but can't get it past Harding.
It was just announced that Todd Bertuzzi is out with an undisclosed injury and will not return. 6:03 - MIN Penalty - Martin Skoula, 2 min. hooking. The Ducks go on the power play looking to even things up.
5:36 - You could see this one coming for awhile now. Parros and Boogard get into it at center ice, exchanging several punches until Parros gets the takedown. 5 each for fighting.
5:11 - With Giguere flat on the ice at the top of the crease, Mark Mowers skates in behind him and makes an incredible kick save on what would have been a certain Wild goal.
4:31 - On a Ducks rush, Ryan Getzlaf nakes a nice cross-ice pass to Shane Hnidy in the slot, but Hnidy's wrister results in another Harding save.
2:04 - MINNESOTA GOAL - BRIAN ROLSTON - Rolston glides down the right side on a 2-on-1 and no one comes to him, so he unleashes a slap shot that flies over Giguere's left shoulder and pops the water bottle. Assists to Eric Belanger and Nick Schultz. It's 1-0 Wild.
0:00 - And we're back at it in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks lightly outplay the Wild, outshooting them 14-9 in a first period marked by several skirmishes. J.S. Giguere saves all nine shots he looks at in his first period back. We're tied at zero and we'll be back in 17 minutes.
18:54 - A hard one-timer from the point by Francois Beauchemin is gobbled and held by Harding. Rob Niedermayer is shoved from behind after the whistle.
18:15 - Andy McDonald takes a nice wrister from the right circle that Harding gloves.
17:37 - MIN Penalty - Keith Carney, 2 min. hooking. After the whistle, more pushing and shoving between guys in black and guys in white and green, but not much comes out of it. Ducks go 5 on 4 until almost the end of the period.
16:44 - Pronger fires another nice one-timer that rebounds slightly off Harding. Corey Perry is there to follow up, but Harding does a nice job to block the puck.
15:28 - Ryan Getzlaf gives Nick Schultz a shot by the boards after the whistle on a Ducks rush and they start feverishly throwing punches, with Getzlaf winning the decision, at least based on the crowd's reaction. They each get 5. This game is just as physical as we thought it would be and I'm sure we haven't seen the last of it.
14:18 - Boogard and Brad May get into it right after the faceoff. Boogard throws more punches while May does a lot of grabbing and holding. It's finally broken up. Boogard did manage to knock off May's helmet to reveal his hair highlights. They each get 5 in the box.
14:17 - Todd Bertuzzi went down and stayed down for a while in the Wild zone and skated off on his own. But now he's slowly headed to the Ducks locker room.
14:17 - George Parros and Wild bad boy Derek Boogard start jawing at each other after the whistle, but the officials intervene before they can get into it. Look for that later in the game.
13:30 - Todd Bertuzzi chases down a loose puck and gets ahead of the defense, but his shot on the breakaway is thwarted, as is the Travis Moen follow-up
10:20 - Corey Perry gets in tight, but his shot goes way wide right.
10:11 - Pronger takes the patended one-timer from just above the right circle and Harding makes the high save.
9:19 - MIN Penalty - Pavol Demitra - 2 min. hooking. The Ducks go on the 4 on 3.
9:10 - Pronger takes a nice wrist shot from the right circle, but it's saved by Harding with the glove.
8:41 - MIN Penalty - Brian Rolston, 2 min. holding. We're 4 on 4.
8:15 - Good news for the Ducks. Marchant is back out there on the penalty kill.
8:15 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. holding. Another PP for the Wild.
7:08 - The Ducks kill the penalty with just one shot on goal, but pay the price for it. Todd Marchant does a great job to block a slap shot from the point, but it looks like it hit him in the skate and he goes staggering off the ice to the bench.
5:08 - ANA Penalty - Brad May, 2 min. hooking. Minnesota with the man advantage, ready to challenge Jiggy.
5:08 - Giguere faces his first two shots of the night saves them cleanly.
3:17 - Chris Kunitz nearly gets one on a nice shot from the slot with Getzlaf screening, but Josh Harding makes a nice save for the Wild.
2:14 - MIN Penalty - Wes Walz, 2 min. holding the stick. How could holding the stick be a penalty? Oh, it was the other guy's? Never mind.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center as the Ducks try to hand the Wild their first loss of the young season.
5:08 p.m. - 10-year-old Taylor Longbrake again knocked the anthem out of the park. She re-took over too early on the fans-singing-along part, but still was fantastic.
5:05 p.m. - The announcement of Giguere as the starter brought a very loud ovation from the Honda Center faithful.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA J.S. Giguere; MIN Josh Harding
Starting Skaters: ANA Sean O'Donnell, Chris Pronger, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen, Rob Niedermayer; MIN Kim Johnsson, Marian Gaborik, Wes Walz, Pavol Demitra, Nick Schultz
Scratches: ANA Jonas Hiller, Drew Miller, Maxim Kondratiev; MIN Dominic Moore, Petteri Nummelin, Matt Foy
1 - 0 MIN
2 - 0 MIN
Holding the stick