The Minnesota Wild look to extend their home win streak to seven games when they meet the Anaheim Ducks for the fourth and final time this season on Sunday.
Minnesota (19-17-2) has lost two of three to Anaheim (28-6-6) this season, with the lone victory coming in a shootout at home on Oct. 27. The Wild are 15-3-1 at Xcel Energy Center this season, and have won six in a row there following a 4-3 overtime victory over Columbus on Friday.
Nine of Minnesota’s 15 home wins have come in overtime or a shootout.
“You have got to win games at home,” said Minnesota defenseman Kurtis Foster, who finished with a career- high three points on Friday. “We need to win as many of these as we can and we have to eventually take this confidence from home on the road.”
Friday’s victory came on a controversial goal from Wes Walz 1:29 into overtime. A centering attempt deflected up the leg of Walz, who was being checked into the net by Jason Chimera, and lodged in Walz’s equipment. It took nearly 7 minutes for the review that confirmed the goal.
“I honestly didn’t know where the puck was,” Walz said. “I am just thankful that they could see the puck. I was hoping it wasn’t one of those commonsense deals that the puck is in my pants, I’m in the back of the net, but because they can’t see the puck in the net he wasn’t going to call it.”
After Minnesota’s Brian Rolston scored on a power play 7:25 into the third period, Manny Fernandez kept the game tied by stopping a short-handed breakaway with eight minutes left. Coach Jacques Lemaire, who has been critical of Fernandez in recent days for him not coming up with the big stop when his team needed one, said the save was “the whole game. … That is what we are looking for from our goaltender.”
The Ducks hope starting goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere can return for this game after he missed Friday’s 4-2 loss at Carolina because of a groin injury. Backup Ilya Bryzgalov is on injured reserve because of a slight groin strain, leaving rookie Michael Wall to start.
Wall made 23 saves Friday for Anaheim, which has suffered half of its regulation losses this season in its last six games.
“You’re not going to win 82 of them,” defenseman Chris Pronger said. “You learn from the games you lose and learn from your mistakes.”
Anaheim allowed a season high-tying three power-play goals on Friday and went 1-for-6 with the man advantage. Minnesota, meanwhile, scored three power-play goals on a season-high 11 chances Friday after going 1-for-28 in its previous seven games.
The Wild have won four straight at home over Anaheim and are 6-2-1 with two ties all-time there against the Ducks.