NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 27th (All times eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (4-3-1) at Minnesota Wild (3-2-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to avoid a fourth straight loss when they visit the Minnesota Wild for tonight's battle at Xcel Energy Center.
The Ducks have lost three in a row on the heels of a four-game winning streak, dropping them to 4-3-1 on the season. The current skid marks Anaheim's first three-game slide since losing five in a row from Feb. 16-25 of last season.
Breaking the slump tonight could prove difficult for Anaheim, which has not fared well in recent meetings with the Wild. Minnesota took three of four encounters last season and has claimed seven of 10 overall in the series. The Ducks have also dropped five straight and six of seven in St. Paul. Anaheim's last win in the Gopher State came on Jan. 17, 2009.
After suffering consecutive regulation losses, the Ducks were at least able to get a point in Tuesday's shootout loss in Chicago. Patrick Kane netted the winner as the Blackhawks edged Anaheim, 3-2, at United Center.
Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne scored in regulation for the Ducks.
"We had way too many turnovers," Selanne said. "It was good enough for one point, but not good enough for us."
Jonas Hiller played well in defeat, making 33 stops, but it wasn't enough to deliver a win for head coach Randy Carlyle in his 500th game at the helm of the southern California franchise.
Tuesday's tilt marked the start of an epic seven-game road trip for the Ducks, who are 1-1-1 as the visiting club this season. The current swing is not Anaheim's longest of the year, as the Ducks have an eight-game trip scheduled for February.
The Wild last played on Saturday, when they were dealt a 3-2 overtime loss in Vancouver. Sami Salo scored a power-play goal with 21 seconds remaining in the extra session to lift the Canucks to the win at Rogers Arena.
Minnesota's Dany Heatley went off for slashing with 1:15 left in the extra frame, and Salo let go a slap shot that beat Niklas Backstrom high on the glove side.
"I can't put myself in that spot," Heatley said.
Backstrom stopped 29 shots for Minnesota, while Devin Setoguchi and Kyle Brodziak recorded goals in the losing effort.
Minnesota is playing the first of two straight on home ice tonight and four of the club's next five tests will be in St. Paul. The Wild are 2-1-1 as the host on the year.
Heatley is battling a groin issue, but is expected to play tonight for Minnesota. Winger Guillaume Latendresse (hip) and defenseman Greg Zanon (groin) are questionable for this evening's matchup.
10/27 10:54:41 ET