Foligno beat Anthony Stolarz between his legs from the slot off a rebound to give the Wild a win in their season opener after dramatically remaking their roster, including buying out franchise stalwarts Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
“I just got lucky,” Foligno said. “It went through Stolarz’s legs, and it got us the win”
Jakob Silfverberg scored on the power play for the Ducks, and Stolarz made 41 saves.
“Obviously a super tough loss,” Silfverberg said. “It’s going to sting tonight, for sure. Not the way you want the game to end. I think we fought all throughout the game, maybe not our best game, but (Stolarz) was coming up huge for us in the net.”
Fiala tied it up 1-1 at 17:35 of the second period, chipping in Mats Zuccarello’s pass through the crease. Zuccarello took over on the top power-play unit because Joel Eriksson Ek briefly went back to the dressing room.
“If we come out of that game and we have looks and stuff, maybe we say the same things we did in Game 1 and 2 last year, where, yeah, we had looks but you got to score,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “The power play’s job is to score goals. We scored one, we had great looks.”
Silfverberg scored on a wraparound 17 seconds into the second to put the Ducks ahead 1-0, continuing Anaheim’s early turnaround on the power play. After scoring just three goals with the man advantage in 28 home games during the abbreviated 2020-21 campaign, the Ducks are 3 for 9 on the power play in their first two games on home ice this season.
But Anaheim failed to take advantage of opportunities on special teams in the third period, and Silfverberg said it came back to haunt them.
“We had some chances at the end, especially in the power play with a couple empty nets, but we couldn’t seem to find the back of the net,” Silfverberg said. “Then that happens with 7 seconds left. That’s obviously nothing that we wanted, and that’s obviously really tough right now.”
The Ducks’ lone goal came after Foligno and Ducks winger Max Jones got into a scrap late in the first period. Both players received fighting penalties and a 10-minute misconduct, but Foligno was also assessed a minor for interference to give Anaheim the valuable man-advantage.
“I could have had a bucket of popcorn and sat with you guys (in the press box) and watched the second period, and came back down for the third,” said Foligno, who had 17 penalty minutes and played 13:11.
Ducks G John Gibson did not play after sustaining a lower-body injury in the season opener on Wednesday. Gibson was hurt in a collision with Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp in the third period of Anaheim’s 4-1 win. With Gibson unavailable, Lukas Dostal was recalled from the AHL to back up Stolarz.
Wild F Brandon Duhaime, a fourth-round draft pick in 2016, had three shots and played 9:01 in his NHL debut. Evason noted that Duhaime’s only slip-up came when he stepped on a puck and stumbled during his solo lap in warmups. “He played terrific and just goes about his business,” Evason said.
Wild F Kirill Kaprizov, the 2021 Calder Memorial Trophy winner as rookie of the year, had an assist in his first game since signing a five-year, $45 million contract on Sept. 21. … Ducks D Kevin Shattenkirk had an assist for his 400th career point. He has 86 goals and 314 assists in 736 games. … Ducks D Cam Fowler got his 100th career power-play assist. … Ducks F Troy Terry did not play because of a non-COVID-19 illness.
Wild: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Ducks: Visit the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
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