ANAHEIM – The Ducks’ first game in the post-Andy McDonald era was definitely not what they had in mind, as Anaheim gave up five unanswered goals in the first two periods on their way to a 5-2 defeat at Honda Center.
|The Ducks outshot Minnesota 30-19, but four power play goals in the second led to their demise.
McDonald, who was traded by the Ducks for fellow center Doug Weight, winger Michal Birner and a seventh round pick just hours before the game, was at least lucky enough not to witness the Ducks suffer one of their worst defeats of the season. Anaheim looked to be in the game after going down just 1-0 after a first period in which they outshot Minnesota 7-6. But the Wild poured it on with four goals in a span of just more than 11 minutes in the second to put the game on ice.
Ducks center Todd Marchant said afterward the Ducks weren't affected much from talk of the trade. There wasn’t really a lot of talk about it," he said. "We all knew what transpired this afternoon. Our focus was on Minnesota at the time. Obviously somewhere between that point and now, we lost that focus. As a result, we lost a 5-2 game at home here. The only thing we can do as a group is move on."
Added head coach Randy Carlyle, "I think it had something to do with it, but I wouldn’t consider that the sole reasoning behind the outcome. I think we lacked emotion, intensity and we didn’t get the goaltending that was necessary to have success. I didn’t think our forecheck was strong enough. I didn’t think our penalty killing was good enough. There was a number of things that you can point to that we just weren’t good enough in. We have to accept responsibility for the way we played."
Each of the first three Wild goals were scored by Wild players who had been held out of practice yesterday with the stomach flu. That started with winger Aaron Voros 12:08 into the first period, putting the Ducks 1-0 for the 12th straight game. Voros took the puck away from Ducks defenseman Joe Dipenta and put a relatively innocent wrister through Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
That was all the Wild would get in the first, but they poured it on in the second with four goals (all on the power play), the most the Ducks have given up in a period this season. Winger Marian Gaborik led off the charge, circling into the right circle and firing a wrist shot that sailed under Giguere’s underarm.
Just 1:13 later, fellow flu sufferer Eric Belanger took a nice backhand pass from Kim Johnsson on the left wing and let go of a shot that hit the right post, then Giguere’s back before toppling in.
Giguere was pulled after that goal and replaced by Jonas Hiller, but that didn’t stop the bleeding. With the Wild yet again on the man advantage, Brian Rolston fired a slap shot from the point that got through Hiller with Voros screening him.
Another 1:04 after that, Voros raced down the right wing and made a great pass across the top of the slot to a charging Brent Burns, who redirected it home.
The Ducks outshot Minnesota 30-19 but got nothing past Minnesota backup goalie Josh Harding, until there was 6:25 left in the third. That’s when a hard-working Brad May tipped a Mathieu Schneider slap shot in front of the net to make it 5-1. With just 51 seconds left in the game, Todd Bertuzzi took a Ryan Getzlaf feed in front of the net and after putting his first shot into Harding’s skate, knocked in the rebound.
Harding was the second straight backup to beat the Ducks (Curtis Sanford won for Vancouver on Wednesday night). He also beat the Ducks 2-0 on Oct. 14.
The Ducks fell to 15-5-5 and will try to break a two-game losing streak when they face San Jose at Honda Center on Sunday.
20:00 - END OF GAME - The Ducks get two in the third, but it's not nearly enough, as they go down 5-2.
19:09 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - TODD BERTUZZI - Ryan Getzlaf feeds Bertuzzi, who has his back to the net. He turns and gets his first shot stuck in Harding's skate, but manages to put the rebound in.
18:13 - MIN Penalties - Brent Burns, 2 min. high sticking and Aaron Voros
, 10 min. misconduct. A scuffle breaks out in the corner after Platt takes a stick to the face and goes down the ice bleeding.
13:35 - ANAHEIM GOAL - BRAD MAY - Brad May works his tail off to fish the puck out of the corner, move it back to Shane Hnidy, who shuttles it across the blueline to Mathieu Schneider. May then moves in front of the net to tip Schneider's slap shot into the net. The Ducks finally get on the board and it's 5-1 Minnesota.
13:14 - Moen slides across the slot and shoots one that hits Harding and pops up straight in the air. He snatches it as he's falling on his back.
12:30 - Getzlaf gets free and let's one go from the right circle, right into Harding's chest. He holds it close and gets the whistle.
Just before play resumes, a closeup shot of Harding reveals an image on the side of his mask that appears to be the lead singer of Rascal Flatts singing into a mic while wearing a Minnesota jersey. That can't be right, can it? The fact that I know what the lead singer of Rascal Flatts looks like is also troubling.
4:31 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. boarding. Marchant knocks over a Minnesota player behind their net.
4:02 - Geoff Platt takes a tough-angle shot that Harding easily stops.
0:00 - We begin the third with the Ducks needing a quick 5 to tie this baby.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - An absolutely disaster of a period for the Ducks, as they give up four goals within a space of just more than 11 minutes. It's 5-0 Wild after two.
19:35 - Harding makes two nice saves on Ducks shots from Perry and Bertuzzi.
16:10 - MINNESOTA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BRENT BURNS - On the power play again, Voros races down the right wing, beats Beauchemin and slides a perfect pass across the top of the slot to a charging Burns, who redirects it through. If this was a prize fight, they'd stop it.
15:06 - MINNESOTA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - BRIAN ROLSTON - With the Ducks down a man, Rolston unleashes a slap shot from the point that gets through Hiller with Voros screening in front. 4-0 Minny.
14:39 - ANA Penalty - Sean O'Donnell, 2 min. cross checking. O'Donnell gets a little agressive trying to get Wild players away from Hiller.
14:39 - Hiller makes two nice saves on point blank shots from Gaborik, quickly closing the door on what looked like an open half of the net on the second one.
14:01 - ANA Penalty - George Parros
, 2 min. tripping. The crowd does not seem to agree.
An emailer just pointed out that three of the five guys who were reported to have the stomach flu yesterday - Voros, Gaborik and Belanger - have scored goals. Wow.
Scott Niedermayer has ventured into the Honda Center press box in a suit. I'd rather see him somewhere else in different attire, frankly.
Time for tonight's Ducks Trivia Challenge. James from Riverside is asked, "Who was the first Duck to reach 50 points in a season? Paul Kairya, Bob Corkum or Terry Yake? He guesses Yake and it's Corkum. He's wrong and the row behind him gets the Carl's Jr. coupons. Thrilling sequence of events. Sorry, I'm in a bad mood suddenly.
6:15 - MINNESOTA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - ERIC BELANGER - With Minny on the man advantage, Kim Johnsson skates around DiPenta in the slot, then backhands a pass on the left wing to Belanger. He holds it for a second, then gets off a shot that hits the left post, then Giguere, then in. It's 3-0 early in the second. Giguere is pulled after the goal and Jonas Hiller is inserted.
5:02 - MINNESOTA GOAL (POWER PLAY) - MARIAN GABORIK - Rolston drops the puck to Gaborik at the top of the right circle. Gaborik circles around and heads into the circle, then lets go of a wrister that goes under Giguere's left armpit. It's 2-0 Wild.
3:53 - ANA Penalty - Chris Kunitz, 4 min. (double minor) high sticking. Kunitz draws blood on Parrish.
1:42 - Kim Johnsson, 2 min. holding. Ducks get their first power play.
0:00 - We're underway in the second.
It's the intermission and they have changed the Fantasy Broadcaster contest to have people re-enact a scene from a famous Christmas movie, instead of a Ducks goal. Tonight it's "A Christmas Story" with contestants yelling the lines over a microphone. It's truly excruciating. We need to put a stop to this immediately.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks hold Minnesota to just six shots, but again give up the first goal. This one came from Voros 12:08 into the period and it's 1-0 Wild after one.
The tennis balls are back in their normal spot, five rows behind the goal the Ducks shoot at in the first and third.
17:02 - O'Donnell does a nice job to stop a loose puck in front of the blueline, then flips a saucer pass that actually goes right into Harding's glove.
16:25 - Rolston picks off a pass in the middle of the ice and heads on a breakaway, but DiPenta and Beauchemin do a nice job to knock it away.
13:36 - ANA Penalty - Sean O'Donnell, 2 min. delay of game. O'Donnell flips the puck way over the glass in trying to clear it from the Ducks zone.
12:08 - MINNESOTA GOAL - AARON VOROS - Voros picks up the puck behind the Ducks blueline, getting it away from Joe DiPenta. He skates by DiPenta and puts a relatively innocent wrister on Giguere that somehow gets through him. It's 1-0 Wild and it's the 12th straight game in which the Ducks have given up the first goal.
11:50 - Four of the five guys on the ice right now -- Bertuzzi, Schneider, Hnidy and Platt -- weren't here last year.
10:47 - Beauchemin dumps the puck off the boards in front of the Wild bench, and it takes a strange bounce right at the Wild goal. Harding had started to head behind the net and it got past him but just outside of the right post.
6:08 - Schneider's hard slap shot hits off the leg pads.
5:57 - Parros and Boogaard briefly on the ice together, but nothing comes of it.
4:59 - Getzlaf gets by Carney through the slot and puts a backhander on Harding that he snuffs out.
2:15 - Drew Miller throws the puck off the back boards from the red line, and it bounces into the crease before Harding covers it. That's happened a lot lately.
By the way, the Wild have their No. 2 goalie, Josh Harding, in there tonight. Harding shut out the Ducks 2-0 on Oct. 14, the first in a line of backups the Ducks have had trouble with, including Curtis Sanford on Wednesday night.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center, where the Ducks play their first game without Andy McDonald since 2003.
Starting Goaltenders: ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; MIN Josh Harding
Starting Skaters: ANA Todd Bertuzzi, Mathieu Schneider, Geoff Platt, Todd Marchant
, Francois Beauchemin; MIN Kim Johnsson, Brian Rolston, James Sheppard, Mark Parrish, Nick Schultz
Scratches: ANA Brian Sutherby, Bruno St. Jacques; MIN Kurtis Foster, Matt Foy, Branko Radivojevic