While the Minnesota Wild are playing well at the moment, they’ve been dominant against the Anaheim Ducks of late.
Winners in four of the last five, the Wild also look for a 12th straight victory over the struggling Ducks on Saturday in Saint Paul, Minn.
It’s been a rather streaking season for Minnesota, which currently finds itself amid a 4-1-1 stretch after going 0-2-1. The Wild improved to 4-2-0 on a seven-game home stretch with their second straight victory, 5-3 over Edmonton on Thursday.
The Wild have yet to win more than two consecutive games this season.
“I don’t talk about it a lot – winning. But, we need to win some games now,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. “We need to put some games together.
“We just can’t play a good game and then fall off and make some mistakes…We have to continue to do what we’re doing.”
Evason doesn’t need star Kirill Kaprizov to stop what he’s done while recording six goals with 11 assists during a 10-game point streak. That run began with his two-goal effort in the Wild’s 4-1 victory at Anaheim on Nov. 9.
Kaprizov has three goals and 10 assists in 12 career games against the Ducks, who have been outscored 41-21 during an 0-8-3 slide versus Minnesota since a 1-0 home victory on Jan. 18, 2021.
Overall, it continues to be a grind for the Ducks, who have just six wins in 24 games this season, and two with five points spanning the last 12. Following Thursday’s 5-0 drubbing at Dallas, Anaheim has been outscored 17-6 during its current 0-3-1 slide.
“To a man, we should all be embarrassed with the effort,” Anaheim forward Derek Grant said after Thursday’s defeat. “Once (the Stars) got their second and third (goals), it’s like we all just sat back and didn’t want to win.
“You can’t play like that in this league, you’re going to get burned. Guys need to be (ticked) off, they need to be embarrassed. It’s not fun for anyone, but you’ve got to find a way to take that and use it for fuel.”
Anaheim has also been outscored 19-6 during an 0-4-1 road skid, and are 0-3-3 at Minnesota since a 3-2 shootout triumph there on Dec. 10, 2019.
The Ducks’ John Gibson is 0-8-2 with a 4.46 goals-against average on the road this season. He made 35 saves in that home loss to Minnesota. Backup Anthony Stolarz, who stopped 35 shots Thursday, has a 4.38 GAA while splitting his four road starts in 2022-23.
Anaheim’s Pavol Regenda scored his first – and thus far only – NHL goal against the Wild this season. Teammate Troy Terry has a team-leading 24 points, and a goal with an assist in the Ducks’ last two games at Minnesota.
Beginning with a 31-save performance versus Anaheim last month, Minnesota’s Filip Gustavsson is 3-1-1 with a 1.96 goals-against average. Meanwhile, Wild starter Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed 10 goals in his last three starts, but owns a 1.54 GAA while winning 12 of his last 13 outings against the Ducks – all with Vegas and Chicago.