ANAHEIM, California – Marcus Foligno admitted that Minnesota Wild’s 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night wasn’t a perfect picture, but for a team still on their way back from a season break due to COVID-19 logs, will make every victory be a success.
“It wasn’t nice or our best game, but we know we can get better,” said Foligno, who scored late in the third half. “It’s important to break the ice with a win after not doing anything for two weeks.”
Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala scored 38 seconds apart in the first half, and Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 16 shots for the Wild, who suffered a two-game loss.
Minnesota lost 4-0 to Los Angeles on Tuesday. This was the first game since February 2, but there were still not many regulars. On Thursday, forwards Nick Bonino and Nico Sturm and defenders Ian Cole and Jared Spurgeon were back in the line-up.
“We tried to be pretty simple at the beginning by keeping the shifts short and trying to read each other off. After the first phase everything slowed down, ”said Spurgeon.
Sam Steel scored for Anaheim, which has lost three of its last four. John Gibson made 24 parades.
“I think we got off to a pretty tough start. … I think we just fought too hard, ”said defender Kevin Shattenkirk. “We have to focus on what we’re doing well again.”
The ducks weren’t excluded but have only scored one goal in eight of their 17 games. They average a league low of 1.88 goals.
“We try to find new and even old ways to score. We will go on. There’s no point in feeling sorry for yourself, ”said Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins.
Forcing Anaheim’s Jacob Larsson to make sales near the blue line in the Anaheim Zone, Hartman ran into the left circle and buried a shot past Gibson on the wrist for the second time this season at 7:27 a.m.
Fiala then scored his fourth goal in the last six games, setting a loose puck rebounding in front of the net at 8:05 a.m.
Steel put Anaheim 2-1 ahead and scored in their second straight game. Steel took a pass from Danton Heinen into the slot and then sent a backhand player past Kahkonen’s glove side into the top right corner of the goal. There were eight minutes left in the second half.
Foligno put Minnesota back into the lead with two goals. After a pass from Zach Parise for the second time of the season, 3:45 remained in the game.
“It’s hard not to get two points and be happy with it, but it was a challenge. We have to do a few things to make this game easier for us, ”said Wild coach Dean Evason.
Four of Hartman’s eleven goals since joining Wild last season were the first goals of the game.
Anaheim didn’t register a shot on goal until there was 3:36 left in the first half and only 16 were left in play. Despite a five-on-three advantage of 1:06 in the first game, the ducks couldn’t create one.
“Too slow and no execution. It’s amazing, we talked about power games the morning and before the game and then we froze, ”said Eakins.
Anaheim defender Hampus Lindholm suffered a lower body injury and failed to play in the third period.
Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin, Victor Rask, Carson Soucy and Cam Talbot were removed from the COVID-19 list earlier in the day. Goalkeeper Andrew Hammond was added and became the 15th wild player to appear on the list.
The teams will meet again on Saturday.