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Anaheim at Minnesota

Down 3-0 in third period, Wild rally to stun Ducks in overtime

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Andrew Brunette came up with a dramatic kind of "welcome home" gift for his new coach in the Minnesota Wild's first victory of the season.

With Todd Richard coaching his first NHL regular-season game in his home state, Brunette's power-play goal in overtime lifted the Wild to a 4-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in Minnesota's home opener.

Trailing 3-0 with less than 14 minutes to play in the third, the Wild got goals from Mikko Koivu, Petr Sykora and Eric Belanger to send the game to overtime.

The Ducks got second period goals from Joffrey Lupul, Evgeny Artyukhin and Saku Koivu but were held to only two shots in the final 20 minutes of regulation as Minnesota rallied. It was an exciting start for Richards and the Wild -- a franchise that is now 8-0-1 all time in home openers since joining the NHL in 2000.

"I'll tell you exactly what it was. It was a commitment by each guy," said Richards, describing the rally. "Each guy made a commitment to each other, to the team, that they were going to play hard for one another. Win some battles."

Looking to bounce back after being thumped 4-1 by San Jose at the Honda Center on Saturday, the Ducks instead saw a seemingly secure lead slip away.

"We didn't play well enough to win. Simple as that," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's a 60-minute game, and we played 50 minutes."

With the teams skating four-on-four in overtime, Anaheim's James Wisniewski was penalized for roughing during a post-whistle skirmish. Brunette poked a puck past Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere on the ensuing power play.

Lupul, who returned to Anaheim in the June trade that sent star defenseman Chris Pronger to Philadelphia, opened the scoring with his first goal of the season near the five-minute mark of the second, tipping a Ryan Whitney shot past Minnesota goalie Nicklas Backstrom. Less than a minute later Lupul was helped from the ice after going down to block an Antti Miettinen shot and getting hit in the face by the puck. He returned to the game after receiving 14 stitches over his right eyebrow.

Artyukhin and Saku Koivu scored in quick succession later, building a 3-0 lead for the Ducks.

Giguere, who has made a habit of frustrating the Wild in his career, looked solid for two periods, and shakier in the third, finishing with 28 saves.

"We're a young group and I think we need to learn how to win, and tonight we found a way to lose," Giguere said. "We were all a little bit on our heels as the [third] period went on. We were all afraid to make a mistake or give up a bad goal, and when you play like that, more often than not, it happens."

Richards was hired for his first NHL head coaching job by new general manager Chuck Fletcher over the summer and has talked of instilling a more wide-open game than Minnesota fans are used to after nearly a decade with defensive-minded Jacques Lemaire running the show. Things were more wide-open on Tuesday, but instead of creating offense for Minnesota, the Wild often looked uncharacteristically disorganized on defense through the first two periods. Held to only 17 shots through the first 45 minutes, the Wild offense finally cranked into gear late.

"In the third, even though we were down three goals, we were playing a lot better defense than we did in the first two," Mikko Koivu said. "Then you get the goals, you get the guys going in front of the net, and that's the way you've got to get the goals."

Backstrom finished with 16 saves for Minnesota.

Notes

  • Martin Havlat, the Wild's most talked-about off-season acquisition, assisted on Minnesota's first three goals.
  • The Ducks have not lost in regulation in their past 10 road games, after finishing the 2008-09 regular season on a 7-0-2 streak away from home.
  • With Minnesota on a power play late in the first period and the puck at neutral ice, fans in the building erupted in a loud ovation as the Minnesota Twins' game-winning hit against the Detroit Tigers was shown on televisions in the arena's concourse and suites.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Before celebrating the Wild's win, fans also got to enjoy the Twins making the playoffs. (AP)
Before celebrating the Wild's win, fans also got to enjoy the Twins making the playoffs. (AP)

Scoreboard
Anaheim (0-1-1)03003
Minnesota  (1-1-0) «00314
Three Stars
A. Brunette
MIN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Havlat
MIN


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
M. Koivu
MIN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
04:57Joffrey Lupul (1), Tip-In. Assist: Whitney, Wisniewski
07:06Evgeny Artyukhin (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Perry, Getzlaf
10:56Power Play - Saku Koivu (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Wisniewski, Whitney
3RD PERIOD
06:29Power Play - Mikko Koivu (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Havlat, Brunette
12:10Petr Sykora (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Havlat, Belanger
17:47Power Play - Eric Belanger (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Havlat, Burns
OT
03:08Power Play - Andrew Brunette (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Belanger, Johnsson
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:02Ryan, 2 min, Hooking
15:24Schultz, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
01:16Getzlaf, 2 min, Hooking
09:17Miettinen, 2 min, Interference
12:08Brown, 2 min, Roughing
12:08Hnidy, 2 min, Roughing
3RD PERIOD
02:36Scott, 5 min, Fighting
02:36Parros, 5 min, Fighting
05:23Lupul, 2 min, Hooking
08:01Boynton, 2 min, Interference
08:01Pouliot, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
16:45Whitney, 2 min, Holding
OT
01:44Wisniewski, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
 123T
Anaheim710219
Minnesota1071330
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Jean-Sebastien Giguere 63:08284
Niklas Backstrom 63:06163
Game Information
Attendance - 18256
Referees - Steve Kozari, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Ryan Galloway, Brian Mach
 
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Car 2
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Edm 5
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