After a few days off to work on the power play, work on scoring, and just try to shake things up, the Minnesota Wild were unable to manage the big, timely goal when it needed it most to fall 3-1 to the Ducks. Jarret Stoll scored the lone tally in the first period, while Chris Stewart tied the game shortly thereafter. Rickard Rakell's goal with just over six minutes left put the game away. Jakub Silfverberg scored an empty net goal late to secure the win.
The Wild finally got off the schneid when of Jarret Stoll, of all people, scored to break the more than 120 minute goalless drought. It was also the first time in a long time the Wild scored first in a game. All-in-all, the start of the game was better, but what has plagued the Wild in this 4-5-6 game stretch with not controlling breakouts and turnover pucks deep in the zone reared its ugly head again. One such failed breakout allowed the Ducks to come back in the zone and control it. Shea Theodore was able to walk the blue line and with a lot of traffic in front, the shot labeled for high glove, looked to get tipped down by former Wild Chris Stewart about eight feet out. With no time to adjust, Devan Dubnyk was beaten to even the game.
Minnesota's first power play came in the first period and allowed us to view the new look power play units. The puck looked to move better, with more purpose with the new top unit of Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Matt Dumba, and Ryan Suter on the ice. There was on really good chance when the puck came back out front to Parise from below the goal line, but John Gibson was there to make the stop. Ultimately, the Wild only managed two shots on goal on the power play with a puck off the post as the power play expired.
The second period was better. The Wild were forcing Ducks turnovers and got some good pressure on Gibson. Nino Niederreiter looked to have scored after taking a couple whacks at the puck, but the play was whistled dead. On replay, Nino clearly kicked the puck in so it wouldn't have counted any ways. Wednesday night was probably the best game Niederreiter has had in quite some time. He was using his big frame well, and crashing the net. Minnesota out-shot the Ducks 14-11 in the period and Dubnyk made a fantastic glove save to rob Corey Perry.
The Wild got another power play when Nate Prosser was hauled down by Rickard Rakell. As semi-decent the first power play looked, this one was a train wreck. The Wild achieved zero, zip, zilch, nada shots on goal, while the Ducks were able to muster at least one decent short-handed chance. Minnesota couldn't get set up in the zone, and some awful turnovers on zone entries didn't help. Then when the Wild did get puck possession in the zone, a puck played up to Jared Spurgeon at the point was sent back down the wall to Mikko Koivu. Koivu tried to go back to Spurgeon, but 46 had already vacated the zone. Then as the team tried to re-enter the zone, Koivu made an extra stick handling move and brought the team offside. It wasn't a very good shift for the Kaptain, but also a crap ending for a discombobulated power play.
Rickard Rakell finally put the game away with a little over 6 minutes left in the game with his tenth of the year. It was a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play, that was the result of a bad series of shifts from the Wild that saw the Ducks getting close. The Wild tried to muster up a comeback, but Gibson was strong in net, and, frankly, the Wild don't score and never beat the Ducks. Jakub Silfverberg netted an empty net goal with under a minute to play to seal the deal.
That's now five losses in a row. Even with three days off leading up to the game, the Wild couldn't find the back of the net and the power play is going through an existential meltdown. "Why is the Wild power play?"