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Mar 18, 2024 9:55 pm

Wild try to move up in wild-card race, extend Ducks’ skid

Kaprizov

The Minnesota Wild look to win the season series and boost their wild-card hopes when they visit the reeling Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

The Wild (33-27-8, 74 points) and Ducks (23-42-3, 49 points) split their first two meetings of the season, with visiting Anaheim winning 3-2 on Jan. 27 and Minnesota prevailing 2-0 at home on Thursday.

Minnesota, sixth in the Central Division, entered Monday five points back of the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The Wild are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss at St. Louis on Saturday. Minnesota is 5-3-2 over its past 10 games and is 15-15-4 on the road this season.

“The ability to handle some adversity within the game and then come back in the third period with the type of game that we played and be able to push back, I like that part of it,” Wild coach John Hynes said. “We got to continue to move forward.

“We wanted two points. We got one. Now we got to take some lessons from this one.”

Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota’s leader with 35 goals and 41 assists in 61 games, has points in seven straight games (nine goals, four assists). Marco Rossi, third in the NHL in points among rookies with 35 (18 goals, 17 assists), has a goal and an assist in his past two games.

Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on Monday, went 2-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage in three games last week. The veteran netminder is 23-5-0 with a .932 save percentage and a 1.82 GAA in 28 career appearances against the Ducks.

The Ducks have dropped six straight following a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.

“I thought we played a good game,” Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said. “We got them in a back-to-back. I thought we had energy and pop.

“You can’t win a game giving up three power-play goals.”

Anaheim, seventh in the Pacific Division, has just three wins over its past 10 games and is 10-23-1 on home ice this season.

Troy Terry scored twice in Sunday’s loss for the Ducks, who have been outscored 31-7 during the six-game skid.

“I think five-on-five, we played a good game,” Terry said. “We’ve got to find a way to limit these penalties.

“It’s just kind of the story for a lot of our games this year.”

Ducks rookie Leo Carlsson had an assist on Sunday in his return from an eight-game absence due to a concussion. Forward Max Jones, who missed the three previous games due to illness, played just 10:14 in Sunday’s loss.

Right winger Frank Vatrano leads the Ducks with 29 goals and 21 assists in 68 games.

Anaheim netminder John Gibson is 13-23-2 this season with a 3.38 GAA and a .892 save percentage. In 18 career appearances against the Wild, Gibson is 7-6-4 with a .925 save percentage and a 2.51 GAA.

–Field Level Media

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