The Minnesota Wild had some extra time to enjoy their memorable start to the season.
After three come-from-behind wins followed by three days between home games, the Wild will return to Saint Paul, Minn., on Saturday evening to host the Anaheim Ducks, a team they beat in the final seconds to start their season on Oct. 15.
“It’s just a bunch of guys that want to go win hockey games,” Minnesota defenseman Alex Goligoski said of his teammates.
The Wild trailed the Ducks 1-0 in Anaheim last week before tying the score late in the second period and ultimately winning 2-1 on a Marcus Foligno goal with 7.2 seconds left.
Minnesota also fell behind 1-0 in the second period at the Los Angeles Kings a night later, but rallied for a 3-2 victory.
Those comeback wins were minor compared to what the Wild accomplished in their latest game on Tuesday, rallying from a two-goal deficit with just under five minutes left against the Winnipeg Jets and winning 6-5 in overtime.
It marked just the second time in team history that Minnesota won a game after trailing by multiple goals in the final five minutes of regulation. The other time was against the Ducks on Dec. 4, 2009.
“On nights like (Tuesday), that can push you through and get you over the hump in some of these games that are kind of these back-and-forth, weird ones,” Goligoski said. “You just stick to it and all support each other, and go from there.”
The Ducks opened their first road trip of the season on a high note on Monday, rallying to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 in overtime. Things haven’t gone so well in the past two games, however.
Anaheim lost 6-5 to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night, then fell to the Jets 5-1 on Thursday.
Troy Terry scored the lone goal for the Ducks against Winnipeg, but he wasn’t satisfied with his performance.
“The next step for me is, I got the one, which was nice. … But at some point I need to start burying on more of those, instead of just settling for one,” Terry said. “The next step for me is to keep going, and I thought I had chances to put another one in the net.”
Terry scored his goal on a power play, an area that continues to be one of the bright spots for the Ducks after they had such a dismal run with the man advantage last season.
Anaheim is 5-for-15 on the power play this season after finishing with an 8.9 percent success rate last season, the lowest mark since the NHL started tracking the stat in 1977-78.
Terry scored on a deflection in front of the net, an area he doesn’t usually occupy on a power play — which is an example of the unit’s flexibility.
“We’re just all interchangeable,” Terry said. “It makes it fun.”
The Ducks will need to find a way to contain Minnesota forward Joel Eriksson Ek, who recorded his first NHL hat trick with the overtime winner against the Jets on Tuesday.
“I’m just trying to be around the net,” Eriksson Ek said. “That’s where it usually happens for me. Just trying to create chances by hanging around there and battling.”
–Field Level Media