The Minnesota Wild continue to say, “We have to find a way.”
Tuesday, it still hadn’t found that way.
Once again the Wild scored first. Once again that was the only goal it scored.
The Wild (25-23-8) put on a late push, but was unable to get the tying goal in a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the Xcel Energy Center.
“Disappointing, for sure,” Mike Yeo said. “It felt like it was a game we were going to win. It’s tough not to come out with two points.”
The Wild has just seven goals in the last six games since the calendar turned to February.
“We’re making goalies look good, eh,” Dany Heatley said. “Throughout the game we had some glorious chances that (Jonas Hiller) made saves on or we missed.”
The Wild got on the board with the first four minutes of the game with a power play goal from Heatley on a backdoor tap-in.
“The power play got us a big goal,” Yeo said. “It probably should have been out there a few more times.”
The Wild had a pair of scoring chances end on plays that could have given the Wild a man advantage. One came during a four-minute penalty kill and the second on a rebound opportunity in front of Jonas Hiller. Kyle Brodziak had a chance for a breakaway while shorthanded, but was knocked down by a sprawling Ducks player.
The second opportunity came with the Wild trailing and around five minutes remaining in the game when Erik Christensen was taken down as the puck slid past them toward the corner. The worst part for the Wild is that immediately following the non-call, Nate Prosser got tangled with a Duck player that resulted in a tripping penalty and the Ducks third man advantage.
“I don’t want to sound like a whiner,” Yeo said. “That’s what happens when you lose games, but come on. Christensen couldn’t have been more blatant and Brodziak on a breakaway.”
Yeo felt a couple missed penalty calls led to both Duck goals, the first was a stick between Zidlicky’s legs that took him down, in similar fashion to the penalty on Prosser. The second came after Nick Johnson had position to defend Perry, but had his legs taken out from under him by another Duck player.
No. 3 – Marek Zidlicky. The Wild defenseman recorded an assist and blocked two shots at the open net.
No. 2 – Dany Heatley. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 1 – Corey Perry. The Ducks forward scored the game-winning goal.
Anaheim 0 0 2 – 2
Minnesota 1 0 0 – 1
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Heatley 19 (Zidlicky, Koivu), 3:56 (pp). Penalties – Parros, Ana (goaltender interference), 3:11; Kassian, Min, major (fighting), 10:28; Parros, Ana, major (fighting), 10:28; Brookbank, Ana (tripping), 11:58; Zanon, Min (holding), 19:44.
Second Period – None. Penalties – Blake, Ana (hooking), 4:34; McMillan, Min, double minor (high sticking), 16:50.
Third Period – 2, Anaheim, Hagman 8 (unassisted), 8:17. 3, Anaheim, Perry 27 (Sbisa), 12:21. Penalties – Prosser, Min (tripping), 14:49; Perry, Ana (slashing), 20:00.
Shots on goal – Anaheim 5-10-10 25. Minnesota 5-4-9 18.
Goalies – Anaheim, Hiller (17-18). Minnesota, Harding (23-25). A – 17, 552. Referees – Ghislain Hebert, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen – Thor Nelson, Mike Cvik.