ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)Matt Boldy scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and added two assists, and the Minnesota Wild won their season-best sixth straight game while continuing their two-year domination of the Anaheim Ducks with a 4-1 victory Wednesday night.
Connor Dewar and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for the Wild, who have earned 13 consecutive victories over the Ducks since January 2021. Last-place Anaheim has earned only four points during that stretch of the rivalry.
”They’re in the same league as us,” Boldy said. ”Their record is what it is, but no game is a cake walk. You’ve got to show up.”
Ryan Hartman scored an empty-net goal for the Wild, who have won 10 of 12 overall. Minnesota has allowed only six goals during its six-game winning streak, and Fleury provided the Wild’s latest solid performance in net.
”Maybe in the second (period) they had a few chances, but other than that, we controlled the puck and didn’t give them a lot,” Fleury said. ”It’s just a good team game. We defend well, block a lot of shots and get rebounds. We have the puck a lot, too.”
Rookie Mason McTavish scored and Lukas Dostal stopped 38 shots for the Ducks, who opened the longest homestand in franchise history with their 11th loss in 14 games. Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins lamented his team’s five minor penalties in the final 30 minutes.
”I think we’re third or fourth in the league at being penalized, and it has to stop,” Eakins said. ”It’s not like we’re the late-’70s Flyers and we’re out there pounding on guys. The game has changed. … Those were just stick penalties, and we have to get away from them.”
After playing an NHL-high 21 road games already this season, the Ducks played the first of 10 straight games at Honda Center on a homestand that will last until Jan. 13. Anaheim’s 10 consecutive home games are tied for the third-most in NHL history, surpassed only by 12-game homestands for the California Golden Seals (1975-76) and Tampa Bay (2010-11).
After a scoreless first period, McTavish intercepted a pass by Kirill Kaprizov just inside the Anaheim blue line and scored his fifth goal of the season on the breakaway. McTavish ended an 11-game goal drought with his 19th point, keeping him among the most productive NHL rookies.
Minnesota tied it late in the second when Dewar spun and practically took a no-look shot from well up the side boards, improbably putting it on target through traffic and beating a stunned Dostal for his fifth goal.
The Wild went ahead 4:46 into the third when Dostal failed to save a mid-range wrist shot by Boldy, perhaps even deflecting it into his own net with his glove.
Eriksson Ek then redirected Calen Addison’s shot from the point during a power play four minutes later for his 11th goal.
With Ducks goalies John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz still sidelined by lower-body injuries, Dostal looked less than sharp while making his second start in two days and his fifth in six games. Anaheim played Dostal again instead of using backup Olle Eriksson Ek, who could have made his NHL debut against his brother, the Minnesota forward.
Wild: At San Jose on Thursday night.
Ducks: Host Calgary on Friday night.
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