Perry pushes goal streak to 7 as Ducks top Wild
By Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
Minnesota 1 Anaheim 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Corey Perry is wielding a hot stick.
The Anaheim right winger scored for the seventh consecutive game and helped the Ducks hold off the Minnesota Wild for a 2-1 victory Wednesday night before 15,252 at Honda Center.
Perry's goal in the second period turned out to be the difference for the Ducks, who defeated the Wild (18-10-5) for the sixth straight time and extended their winning streak to four. Anaheim (22-7-5) also improved its record at Honda Center to 12-0-2, the only NHL club to avoid a loss in regulation at home this season.
Perry left the contest midway through the second period after colliding with a teammate, defenseman Hampus Lindholm. After taking a few minutes to regain his senses, Perry returned and knocked home a rebound of a Lindholm miss at 13:27 of the second for a 2-0 Anaheim lead. Center Ryan Getzlaf assisted on the goal, raising his string of games with a point to 13.
"It was a great play by (Getzlaf), driving wide," said Perry, who has a club-leading 21 goals and 36 points, which is second to Getzlaf's 38 on the Ducks. "(Lindholm) had a pretty good shot there and just missed the top corner. It came off the back wall, and I just batted it out of the air."
Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller recorded 23 saves, while Minnesota netminder Josh Harding finished with 29.
"We didn't create enough offense, but you have to give them credit, too, because of the way they played their defense," Wild center Mikko Koivu said. "We just have to find a way to create more and get momentum, especially early in the game."
Defense dictated much of the contest. After a scoreless first period, Anaheim's Alex Grant broke the ice and scored his second goal in as many games. The rookie defenseman rushed down the right side of the ice and drilled a shot past Harding for a 1-0 Anaheim lead at 2:37 of the second period.
Grant became the first defenseman to score in his opening two games since Marcus Ragnarsson did it for the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 7 and Oct. 12 in 1995. Center Andrew Cogliano set up Grant.
"I just got a great pass from (Cogliano)," Grant said. "I took it in and kind of looked toward the middle, and (Harding) cheated a little bit and came off his post. I just put it on net and it went in."
After Perry doubled the lead in the second period, right winger Jason Pominville put Minnesota on the board at 3:48 of the third. Pominville picked up an attempt by defenseman Ryan Suter and cashed it in for his club-high 15th goal on a power play to cut Anaheim's lead to 2-1.
The Wild failed to score again, completing another tough outing on the road.
"I think we saw tonight, the first two periods, it felt like we were on our heels," Pominville said. "We were giving them time to make plays and control the puck and the neutral zone. We were kind of chasing. Any team in the league, if they are playing against a team that is on their heels is going to make plays and good things happen.
"I think in the third (period), we were more on our toes, more aggressive. Forwards were supporting each other better and our (defense) was involved. It makes a big difference. It just wasn't there in the first two periods, and we started doing it too late."
NOTES: Ducks D Mark Fistric, who left Monday's win over the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury, was scratched. ... The Koivu brothers met for the 18th time. Ducks C Saku Koivu has a 11-3-4 mark against Minnesota C Mikko Koivu. ... Anaheim RW Kyle Palmieri played in his 100th career game. ... The Wild are one of the lowest-scoring clubs on the road, averaging 1.8 goals per game. With a 5-7-3 mark, they also are the only NHL club with at least 40 points despite having a losing road record. ... Wednesday's outing was the first of a three-game trip for the Wild. They visit the San Jose Sharks on Thursday and the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. ... The Ducks host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday before embarking on a four-game trip that begins Tuesday against the Detroit Red Wings.
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