The Ducks made sure that their fans went home happy with a 4-2 win Tuesday night at Honda Center over the Minnesota Wild. Ryan, with two goals and one assist, made sure that the 16,960 in the house had no worries as the Ducks frustrated the Wild, again standing four across the blue line late in the game as the Wild pressed for the tying goal.
Unfortuantely, Josh Harding was offered as 'sacrificial lamb' again in this one, as the lack of stellar defense in front of him led to three goals against in two periods. Harding's record this season drops to 2-5, all of those games being on the road (Harding has not played at home in over a year). A personal best for Kim Johnsson, as he scored for the third straight game, the first time in his NHL career that he has scored in three straight games.
Although the Wild kept both Derek Boogaard and John Scott in the line-up, the Ducks decided to scratch birthday boy (age 30, Tuesday) George Parros, Ducks' enforcer and porn-moustache pugilist, due to a supposed hand injury. No matter: the officials were more than enough to keep the Wild in check, as dumb penalties were compounded for the worse by dumb decisions, once those penalties were handed out. Clayton Stoner tweaked his groin during morning skate on the slushy Honda Center ice surface, making him unavailable. That led to one of the most bizarre sequences I have ever seen in over 40 years of following the NHL.
Boogaard, taking on Nick Boynton after Boynton took exception to a missed Boogaard check on Apple Valley, Minnesota-native Dan Sexton, proceeded to attempt to beat the much smaller Boynton into last month when in stepped the linesmen to break up the rout; Boogaard, while wailing away on Boynton, threw a right into the ribs of linesman Tony Sericolo, who got in the way of Boogaard. Sericolo, for his part, said the punch was accidental (it was) and that nothing other than the 10-minute misconduct for touching an official would be meted out.
Then, seconds after that, Scott started to go after Troy Bodie, and (now) lone linesman Lonnie Cameron tried to break both of them up as they began to swing away. Scott swatted Cameron out of the way like you or I shoo away a gnat, but Cameron came back and indeed stopped the fight before damage was done. Yet another 10-minute misconduct doled out to the Wild.
The Wild failed to gain ground on the teams directly above them (Dallas, Detroit) in the Western Conference, still leaving them in 11th place in the West with 43 points.
Next Game: vs. Los Angeles, Thursday (New Year's Eve), 7:00 PM Central (5:00 PM Pacific), Xcel Energy Center. (Wild TV: FSNorth (includes FSWisconsin); Kings TV: FSWest, both feeds in HD; XM Radio, Ch. 237)