The Ducks are still floundering
The Anaheim Ducks were just 2:35 from upsetting the Minnesota Wild, but eventually lost in a shootout 5-4 on Saturday at St. Paul.
Kirill Kaprizov forced overtime late in the game. His companion Mats Zuccarello spotted him for the umpteenth time at the mouth of the net, and the spectacular Russian striker leveled the score by throwing himself on the ice. Kaprizov thus extended his streak of games with at least one point to 11 games.
In the shootout, Trevor Zegras had given the visitors the lead, but shots from Kaprizov and Matt Boldy finally gave fans a chance to celebrate at the Xcel Energy Center.
Wild head coach Dean Evason, meanwhile, was not thrilled after the duel. Faced with a much less well-off opponent, he expected a much more convincing performance from his flock.
“During two periods, we were not really good and they were, yes, he analyzed. The Ducks were going to the net and they were playing tough. They were doing exactly what we wanted to do.
“We are very lucky that the game was not out of our hands when the third period started. Of course we will take both points. But it's a wake-up call for us.”
The Ducks thought they were heading for their seventh win of the season thanks to the prowess of their offensive leaders. Ryan Strome, Troy Terry and Zegras hit the mark in the duel, as did defenseman Cam Fowler.
However, the California team once again left John Gibson to his own devices. The American goaltender stopped 43 pucks in the loss, having faced more shots than any other goalkeeper since the start of the campaign.
Defender Calen Addison, who Quiet in recent weeks after a strong start to the season, set the tone for the game by opening the scoring with a one-timer. Adding an assist on Joel Eriksson Ek's goal in the third period, Addison took the lead among rookie defensemen with 13 points.
Connor Dewar also threaded the needle for the Wild. On the streak, rugged Ryan Reaves earned his first point in a Minnesota team uniform.
It's a fifth straight loss for the Ducks, while the Wild have extended his winning streak to three games.