Ryan Getzlaf will get to work on his next 1,000 NHL games starting Tuesday when the captain’s Anaheim Ducks play host to the Minnesota Wild.
The 34-year-old veteran had an assist in his celebratory 1,000th game Sunday, but the Ducks could not completely overcome a slow start while falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. It was just the second defeat in eight home games for the Ducks this season.
The Wild have dropped three in a row, most recently losing consecutive games to the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Like the Ducks, the Wild also went overtime in their latest game before taking a 4-3 home loss to St. Louis on Saturday.
Minnesota has lost four of its past five games after it looked to be getting back on track with consecutive victories over the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers two weeks ago.
Instead, the Wild have spilled back into their doldrums and are a disappointing 4-9-1 on the season — tied with the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks for the lowest point total in the NHL at nine.
Minnesota might be entering California with a different feeling had a couple of calls not gone against them Saturday. Among them were Mikko Koivu’s goal that was waved off because of interference, plus the Blues’ game-tying goal in the third period that appeared to come after Wild forward Luke Kunin was tripped without getting a call.
“We were playing hard,” Wild winger Mats Zuccarello said after scoring a power-play goal against the Blues. “We’re all battling out there, trying to do our best. If we play like that, we’re going to get some wins.”
The Ducks are in that same battling mindset. They had just won consecutive games against the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks before inexplicably losing to the Blackhawks, who came into Anaheim on Sunday without a road victory. The Ducks started the night 6-1-0 at home.
Slow starts have plagued the Ducks this season, and another occurred Sunday when the Blackhawks held a 2-0 lead after the first period. Anaheim pressed right back but was unable to score a goal in the opening period, ultimately tying the game with a goal in each of the last two periods.
The Ducks were outshot 15-11 in the first period Sunday, but that was far better than their 19-5 disadvantage after one period Friday against the Canucks, and that was a game Anaheim won.
“I was happier with our start tonight, although we came away down two (goals),” Getzlaf said after the Sunday game. “We took some penalties and stuff again in the first, which doesn’t allow you to get any rhythm in the hockey game, but we did a good job of battling back and getting that point.”
The Ducks are now 2-1-0 on their season-high, seven-game homestand that runs through Nov. 14.
While the Wild are coming off their first overtime game of the season, the Ducks are coming off their first overtime defeat of the season.
–Field Level Media
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