Wild look to start back-to-back with win at Anaheim


9 p.m. Tuesday at Anaheim

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Sarah McLellan's analysis:

Opening bell: The standings had quite the makeover while the Wild had a two-day break during this road trip. St. Louis passed them, and Vegas widened its lead to five points for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference. But the Wild (33-27-8) can answer with a back-to-back that starts against Anaheim. Since getting blanked 2-0 by the Wild last Thursday at Xcel Energy Center, the Ducks (23-42-3) were shut out again by Winnipeg and lost to St. Louis.

Watch him: Wild C Marco Rossi kick-started the Wild's rally last game in St. Louis by snapping an 11-game goalless skid. Rossi's 18 goals are second among NHL rookies behind the 21 from Chicago's Connor Bedard. Only LW Kirill Kaprizov has tallied more goals in a single season as a Wild rookie than Rossi has; Kaprizov set a franchise record with 27 in 2021.

NHL standings

Injuries: Wild C Joel Eriksson Ek (lower body) and D Jared Spurgeon (hip/back). Ducks D Radko Gudas (upper body), LW Brock McGinn (upper body), C Mason McTavish (lower body) and C Trevor Zegras (ankle).

Forecast: This is a favorable matchup for the Wild, and they need to take advantage of it because the rest of the week will be much tougher; Los Angeles and St. Louis are on deck. What led to the Wild's shutout against Anaheim last Thursday? Keeping the puck away from the Ducks. D Zach Bogosian opened the scoring in the first period, Kaprizov tacked on an insurance goal in the second and G Marc-Andre Fleury needed to make just 16 saves. Spending as much time as possible in Anaheim's zone would be a good idea for the Wild — not only to defeat the Ducks but also to rekindle the Wild's offense, which has maxed out at two goals in the past two games.