Eriksson Ek helps Wild cap road trip with 3-2 win over Ducks
Published 8:19 am Thursday, January 21, 2021
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Joel Eriksson Ek had a goal and an assist, including the game-winning score early in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild capped a successful season-opening road trip with a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Eriksson Ek ripped a quick wrist shot past Ryan Miller’s glove side off a pass from Jordan Greenway 1:53 into the third for his second goal of the season and the eighth game-winning goal of his career.
The win is the third in four games for Minnesota, which is part of the reconfigured West Division this season.
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“It makes you feel good about your game We know we can score and have a lot of skill and up down the lineup,” Eriksson Ek said.
Ryan Hartman and Nick Bonino also scored for Minnesota. Kaapo Kahkonen made 22 saves in his first action in over 10 months.
“He played great and competed his butt off,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “He had one that clearly clanks off his glove for the first goal, but besides that, he played terrific.”
Nicolas Deslauriers and Cam Fowler scored for Anaheim, and Ryan Miller stopped 29 shots. Deslauriers also had an assist for the eighth multi-point game of his career.
Hartman opened the scoring at 13:51 of the first period with the first short-handed goal of his eight-year NHL career. The defenseman scored on a breakaway after forcing a turnover in the neutral zone.
“I was just trying to shoot low on the far pad. I think he was surprised with how early I shot it,” Hartman said.
Bonino extended the Wild’s lead to two goals at 5:50 of the second when he won the faceoff during a power play and buried a wrist shot past Miller. It is Bonino’s first goal with Minnesota after being acquired in an offseason trade with Nashville.
The goal was also Minnesota’s first on the power play after coming up empty on its first 18 chances.
Deslauriers and Fowler scored less than four minutes apart in the second to tie it at 2-all. Deslauriers took advantage of a rebound near the Minnesota net for his second goal of the season at 8:58. Fowler then knotted it with a snap shot from the right circle at 12:21, after being set up with a cross-ice pass from Carter Rowney.
Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins is seeing a trend through the first four games that hasn’t made him happy. The Ducks once again got off to slow start and were tentative for the first 30 minutes before hitting stride.
“We’ve got guys in our locker room that have played for a long time. This is not a league where you can dip your toe in the water. You have to jump in and keep going,” he said. “Thirty minutes of hockey leaves you one goal short. This is on the leadership group and the players to get things going.”
Wild: D Ian Cole made his Minnesota debut after being acquired in a trade on Tuesday and saw 17:31 of ice time. … Kirill Kaprizov recorded the second assist on Eriksson Ek’s goal. He leads rookies in assists (four) and points (five). … The Wild have won six of their last eight games in Anaheim.
Ducks: Anaheim is 0-for-7 on the power play after four games. … Rowney had two assists and has three points (all assists) in the past two games.
Wild: Have their home opener against the San Jose Sharks on Friday.
Ducks: Host the Colorado Avalanche for two games starting Friday.