Saturday, May 18, 2024

Ducks falter in the third period, lose to Minnesota Wild

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ANAHEIM — The damage was self-inflicted and continuous in the Ducks’ ninth loss of the season.

Their porous penalty kill has been a season-long issue and it was found wanting again as the Minnesota Wild scored two power-play goals to defeat the Ducks, 4-1, on Wednesday night at Honda Center. Kirill Kaprizov scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season and defenseman Matt Dumba’s goal turned out to be the game-winner, breaking a 1-1 tie at 1:41 of the third period. The other Wild goal came from a former Duck, Joseph Cramarossa, who played the first 49 games of his NHL career in Anaheim.

Additionally, the Ducks played the third period with only four defensemen after Kevin Shattenkirk left the game with a lower-body injury. He took just two shifts in the second period.

The Ducks (4-9-1) gave up four straight goals, including three in the third period, after holding a 1-0 lead, on Pavol Regenda’s goal at 13:24 of the second period. It was the first goal of Regenda’s NHL career and one to remember – a pure goal-scorer’s goal as he beat Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson with a wrist shot on the glove side.

Credit, also, had to go to Frank Vatrano who had the patience and vision to find the trailer (Regenda) on the play.

Regenda, as it turned out, was in the lineup because Ducks forward Adam Henrique was not. Henrique and his wife are expecting their first child. So the Ducks called up Regenda from their minor-league affiliate in San Diego and this was his sixth NHL game. He had two goals and two assists in four games with the Gulls.

The most electrifying moment of the game, well, maybe of the season, for the Ducks was erased, to the dismay of the crowd. It had appeared as though Trevor Zegras had pulled off another “Michigan” lacrosse-style goal early in the second period.

Minnesota challenged and the goal was taken off the board for offsides earlier in the play. So it was Michigan Recalled … just a hint of the way the night would end up going for the Ducks.

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