Wild set sights on 3rd straight win, visit Ducks
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will shoot for a third straight victory on Friday when they make a stop at the Honda Center to battle the Anaheim Ducks.
The Wild's season has been a series of streaks so far. The team posted consecutive wins to begin the campaign, then lost three in a row before earning recent victories over Columbus and Chicago.
Minnesota's latest victory came Wednesday against the previously-unbeaten Chicago Blackhawks. Matt Cullen scored the winner in the shootout, lifting the home team to a 3-2 decision as Chicago dropped to 6-0-1 on the season.
Cullen also scored in regulation while Cal Clutterbuck scored the other goal for the Wild, who are aiming for their first three-game win streak since March 29-April 1. Clutterbuck scored his first goal of the season after only managing an assist in Minnesota's first six games.
"It was nice to get that goal and to be able to help the squad out," said Clutterbuck. "It's nice to get that monkey off my back."
Josh Harding started the game in net for Minnesota, but was pulled after giving up two goals on just four shots. Niklas Backstrom was stellar in relief, turning aside all 28 shots he faced.
The Ducks are coming off Tuesday's shootout loss in San Jose. Logan Couture tied the game late in regulation and Michal Handzus scored the lone shootout goal to lift the Sharks to the 3-2 decision at HP Pavilion.
Couture found the back of the net with 2:45 remaining in the third period, taking a drop pass from newcomer Scott Gomez and ripping a shot past Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller.
Handzus, the first participant in the shootout, beat Hiller over the glove. Antti Niemi turned away the Ducks' first two shooters, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry, before getting a little help from the crossbar on Teemu Selanne's bid.
Francois Beauchemin and Matt Beleskey scored 59 seconds apart in the second period for the Ducks, who have picked up at least a point in four of their first five games (3-1-1).
Friday's game kicks off a three-game homestand for Anaheim, which will also host Los Angeles and San Jose during this stay in Orange County. The Ducks are 1-1-0 at the Honda Center this season.
Minnesota has won four of six overall against the Ducks and has posted three straight victories in Anaheim.