Ducks-Wild Preview

The Associated Press

Along with avoiding another drama-free ending, Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau will try to get a better performance out of his team in its second game.

The Ducks, who will be without veteran forward Teemu Selanne, will seek to bounce back from a lopsided defeat Saturday night by continuing their recent success against the Minnesota Wild.

Anaheim (0-1-0) was largely uncompetitive in a 6-1 loss in Colorado on Wednesday, and then had to deal with an irate Avalanche coach Patrick Roy after the game. Roy was upset over a late knee-to-knee hit between Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy and No. 1 overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon.

Boudreau and Roy argued from atop their respective benches after the game, and the first-year Colorado coach nearly pushed a glass barrier on top of his Anaheim counterpart. Roy was fined $10,000 by the NHL on Thursday.

"I didn't expect that,'' Boudreau said. "It's not our job to go back and forth with their players. All of a sudden, I told him, 'That's bull, that's bush league,' and he did what he did.

"At the end, obviously we're frustrated. ... A coach has no right to start yapping at players."

The Ducks might have a good chance to bounce back in the second of their three-game trip. Anaheim has won a series-best four straight against the Wild and three in a row in Minnesota.

Selanne has tallied a goal and four assists in the last four meetings, but is expected to sit out. The 43-year-old is resting up for Sunday's return to Winnipeg, where he played his first three-plus seasons in the NHL 20 years ago.

"Winnipeg might be a pretty big night for him," Boudreau told the league's website. "They love him there and rightfully so."

Boudreau is planning on giving Selanne chances to rest at least once during each of his club's 12 sets of back-to-back contests. That could mean a little more pressure on probable starting goaltender Jonas Hiller.

He is expected to get the start after Viktor Fasth was charged with a career-worst six goals Wednesday. Hiller has been in net for three of the last four games against the Wild (0-0-1), allowing a total of four goals.

The Wild are expected to start Niklas Backstrom again after he stopped 16 shots in Thursday's 3-2 shootout defeat to Los Angeles.

Matt Cooke and Jonas Brodin gave Minnesota a lead after the first period but the Wild couldn't find the net again, including both of their shootout attempts.

"They were a little bit better getting out of their end. They had a few more chances. In the end, I think we deserved two points," defenseman Keith Ballard said. "With the shootout, that happens. We played a pretty solid hockey game.

"If we keep replicating that game over and over again, I think we'll be all right this year."

Backstrom is 2-3-0 in his last five games against Anaheim despite a respectable 2.22 goals-against average.

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