For the third time on a three-game road trip, the Ducks lost by one goal. And for the third time, the margin was best described by the tightly contested circumstances in which the winning goal was scored:
The blink-and-you missed it goal actually bounced off Antti Miettinen’s chest and into the net past Curtis McElhinney, who made 25 saves. It left the Ducks with a point in the standings, and two of a possible six on the road trip. The Ducks probably deserved better – especially Wednesday, when they outshot Minnesota 16-2, threatening often to break a 1-1 tie.
But whether it was Niklas Backstrom in St. Paul (27 saves), Kari Lehtonen in Dallas or Corey Crawford in Chicago, the Ducks’ once-prolific offense made the opposing netminder look brilliant. Corey Perry hooked up with Teemu Selanne for their only goal, on a power play at 4:56 of the second period. The Ducks’ top line was responsible for all four goals (three were by Perry) in the three-game series.
The Wild’s Martin Havlat answered with a goal of his own at 6:34 of the second period.
Some more notes:
Kyle Palmieri (13:09) and Nick Bonino (13:05) cracked the 10-minute ice time barrier for the second time on the three-game road trip. Bonino got a long shift with Bobby Ryan in overtime, and a short one with Jason Blake and Teemu Selanne in the third period. With Joffrey Lupul and Kyle Chipchura both on the road to recovery from their respective injuries, it will be interesting to see where the two rookies are a month from now.
Saku Koivu lined up directly against his brother, Mikko, quite a bit. The Ducks and Wild have split the eight career head-to-head games between the brothers. Neither Koivu figured into the scoring Wednesday, though Saku (9-6) fared better in the faceoff circle than Mikko (6-10).
The Ducks are back home for three straight against Columbus (Friday), Edmonton (Sunday) and Chicago (Nov. 26, the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving 1 p.m. start time).