ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA (TICKER) —Antti Laaksonen found his scoring touch just in time to face the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Wes Walz broke loose on the right side and fed Laaksonen, who got his 10th goal of the season and first in nine games since scoring against Anaheim on New Year’s Eve.
“It was a great play by Walz,” Laaksonen said. “He was yelling for the puck and I passed it to him. Then I was yelling for it and was hoping he’d find me. I don’t know how he saw me coming from behind, but he made a good play to get the puck to me. I saw the goalie go down and got the puck up on his glove side. Scoring the goal in overtime makes it a little sweeter.”
“It looked like he was going to shoot it right away, then he brought it a little to my right and shot it on the post,” Giguere said. “It was a good move by him, he had a lot of pressure on him but found a good way to make the shot.”
Giguere was seeking his second straight shutout of Minnesota but gave up a goal to defenseman Nick Schultz with 10:33 remaining in regulation that tied it at 1-1.
Pascal Dupuis worked the puck behind the net and got it to Schultz, who beat Giguere with a quick shot. Both of Schultz’s goals this season have come against Anaheim. He also scored in a 4-1 win on December 31.
“Anything shot low, he was stopping,” Schultz said. “I just tried to get the puck up high. Giguere played well in both games. We just kept firing and tried to put it away, so it’s a big win for us.”
“Those were nice goals. They created them and made nice plays,” Giguere added. “You can’t always make the saves. Sometimes you have to give them the credit. We had a lot of scoring chances, but their goalie played very well.”
It looked like Petr Sykora’s goal 2:53 into the game was going to hold up for Giguere’s third 1-0 blanking of the Wild this season. Sykora tapped in the puck from the left side of the net after defenseman Fredrik Olausson faked a shot from the right point.
“Going into the third period, I wasn’t really thinking about the shutout,” Giguere said. “Some of their guys skated by and kept yelling shutout, tried to remind me of that, which plays against you.”
“Anytime you have a lead going into the third period at home, you have to come out with two points,” Ducks captain Paul Kariya added. “It was my fault on the first goal. I should’ve let the defenseman play. Elementary hockey there.”
Minnesota improved 6-1-7 in overtime and 10-6-4-1 on the road in the opener of a five-game trip. The Wild do not return home until after the All-Star break.
“For some reason, this team plays hard against us with the lead,” Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. “Their goalie is solid. Everytime we play them, it’s a good game and low-scoring. It would be nice to get some more goals. This was a huge win for us, very big. They played tight and we did the same.”
Dwayne Roloson made 30 saves for his 13th win.