Ducks bested by Wild in final game of season series

Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
The Ducks dropped their seventh consecutive game, falling 4-0 to the Minnesota Wild.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Looking to end their second-longest losing streak of the season, the Ducks faced off against the Wild for the second time in the last seven days, hoping to take the season series in the rubber match.

Things got off to a low-event start in the first, with both teams trading a single penalty on each side midway through the period. The second is when Minnesota struck, scoring just thirty-five seconds into the period. Matt Boldy stripped Cam Fowler in the defensive zone, setting up a prime scoring chance in the slot for Marcus Foligno. Ryan Hartman was on hand to pop in the rebound created by Foligno’s shot.

The Wild would double their lead 1:20 later, with Jon Merrill’s seeing-eye shot from the point finding the top-left post over Gibson’s shoulder through a sea of bodies. After Urho Vaakanainen got back to deny an odd-man rush but took a hooking penalty to do so, the Wild went up 3-0 after Kirill Kaprizov smacked a shot off the post and the back of Gibson’s pads into the net. Jake Lucchini would put the icing on the cake for Minnesota, staking them to a 4-0 lead on an odd-man rush after Olen Zellweger turned the puck over at the offensive blue line.

Mar 19, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Minnesota Wild right wing Ryan Hartman (38) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

With tonight’s loss, the Ducks now hold a minus-19 goal differential in their last five games. They were also held without a goal in three of those five games.

“(Minnesota) was stronger on pucks than we were,” said head coach Greg Cronin. “I think we competed, we just didn’t win the puck battles.”

“The breakdowns and the turnovers need to be minimized for sure,” said Frank Vatrano. “There’s going to be turnovers during the game, but (we’ve) got to limit them.”