Minnesota (1-3-0) at Anaheim (2-2-1)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EDT Wed Oct 14, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Back home for the first time since their opener, the Anaheim Ducks open a six-game stretch at the Honda Center on Wednesday night.

Facing a struggling Minnesota Wild team could be what the Ducks need to bounce back from their first shutout of the season.

After defeating Philadelphia 3-2 in a shootout less than 24 hours earlier, Anaheim closed its 2-1-1 trip with a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday.

“We didn’t execute to our level,” said coach Randy Carlyle, whose team plays in Anaheim for the first time since a 4-1 loss to San Jose on Oct. 3. “When your hockey club is standing still making plays, it shows they are a little bit worn down. We played last night in an emotional comeback. It’s hard to recapture that.”

Making his second start of the season, Jean-Sebastien Giguere(notes) made 35 saves, but he gave up three third-period goals to the Rangers.

“It’s a tough way to finish a good road trip,” Giguere said. “I don’t think we’re happy with the game tonight, but I think we’re satisfied with the road trip.”

Giguere, splitting time in goal with Jonas Hiller(notes), made 28 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss to Minnesota on Oct. 6 in the first game of the trip. He is 1-3-1 with a 3.61 goal-against average in his last five starts against the Wild.

Forward Andrew Brunette(notes) scored the winning goal in last week’s matchup with Anaheim (2-2-1) as Minnesota (1-3-0) rallied from a three-goal, third-period deficit to win its home opener.

“I’ll tell you exactly what it was. It was a commitment by each guy,” Wild first-year coach Todd Richards said after that victory. “Each guy made a commitment to each other, to the team, that they were going to play hard for one another. Win some battles.”

Minnesota, though, has since dropped two straight to begin its five-game trip.

Brunette scored his team-leading third goal Saturday against San Jose as the Wild lost 4-2 after leading 2-0. Forwards Petr Sykora(notes) (groin) and Cal Clutterbuck(notes) (sprained ankle) left the game with injuries.

“You could see it on the bench,” Richards said. “Guys were tired. They were laboring. They worked extremely hard but it’s tough when you have to shorten up your bench like that.”

Sykora, who scored Oct. 6 against Anaheim, did not practice Monday and remains doubtful for Wednesday. Clutterbuck was placed on the injured list Monday, but Minnesota could have forward Derek Boogaard(notes) on the ice for the first time this season after he suffered a concussion Sept. 18.

The Wild’s Niklas Backstrom(notes) is 4-2-0 with a 1.99 GAA in six career starts against the Ducks after making 16 saves in the first matchup this season.

Minnesota has won three straight over Anaheim.

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Wednesday, Oct 14