ST. PAUL, Minn. Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo said Monday his team was due for some luck. He came into Tuesday night's home against the Anaheim Ducks feeling like his team was going to win.
After Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Anaheim, Yeo had a familiar postgame comment.
"Disappointed, for sure," Yeo said. "Felt like that was a game that we were going to win and it's tough to not come up with two points."
It's been a similar story the past two months. While the Ducks entered Tuesday as one of the best teams in the NHL recently with a 12-3-3 record since Jan. 1, Minnesota had gone the other direction. The Wild have lost 21 of the past 26 games, including five straight and three in a row at home.
Dany Heatley's 19th goal of the season was the lone tally against the Ducks. The power-play goal 3:56 into the first period was Heatley's sixth goal in the past nine games.
But a lack offense has been the recurring theme. During the past 26 games, Minnesota has scored one goal or less 14 times. It's scored seven goals in the past six games.
"We're making goalies look good," Heatley said.
The Wild entered Tuesday 29th in the league in scoring, averaging 2.16 goals per game.
"I would say that they're, as the games going on and we're getting all these chances, you see on the bench that it's 1-0 and we're getting some of these 2-on-1s, we're getting some of these chances and when we don't score guys on the bench are slamming their stick," Yeo said. "It's because they almost, there's the sense that, Oh no, not again.' But that's what we have to fight through. We're a good enough team to still close out a game when we're 1-0. We're still a good enough team that we should be able to win that game. We've got to just keep fighting."
Special teams come through: Minnesota killed off each of its four penalties and Heatley's goal was just the second power-play tally in the past six games for the Wild, who came into Tuesday with the league's 24th ranked power play.
With a 1-0 lead, Minnesota even killed off a double-minor high-sticking penalty. Anaheim's power play entered the game 13th in the league, converting 17.8 percent. The Wild had allowed a power play goal in each of the last four games.
"Penalty kill was really good," Yeo said. "Power play got us a big goal. Power play probably should have been out there a couple more times. I don't want to sound like a whiner." That's what happens when you lose games; you end up, but, come on."
Harding back in net: Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding played for the first time since a loss to Nashville on Jan. 31. Harding had allowed 22 goals over his previous six games and had sat for five straight games before drawing Tuesday's start.
Harding made 23 saves against Anaheim.
"I don't think I ever lost that confidence," Harding said. "Had that one bad goal against Nashville, that doesn't make your career, doesn't make your season, doesn't make anything. I thought I played pretty solid, the first two especially, and I think the whole team has confidence."
Foucault makes debut: Rookie forward Kris Foucault made his NHL debut, playing 8:50, and didn't have a shot on goal.
Foucault is the 39th player and 13th rookie to play for the Wild this season, both NHL highs. The team record is 40, set last season.
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