Zuccarello, Staal Lead Wild’s Rally to 4-2 Win over Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mats Zuccarello scored the tying breakaway goal and got an assist on Eric Staal’s go-ahead goal early in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild snapped their five-game road losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

St. Louis Blues Alex Pietrangelo Minnesota Wild Mats Zuccarello
St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and Minnesota Wild center Mats Zuccarello (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Fiala also scored and Alex Stalock made 29 saves for the Wild, who came back from a two-goal deficit for only their second win in nine road games this season. Zach Parise added an empty-net goal to cap Minnesota’s four-goal rally, which provided a much-needed boost for the last-place club in the opener of a four-game West Coast trip.

Jacob Larsson got his first career goal and Rickard Rakell also scored for the Ducks, who failed to earn a point for the first time in four games on their seven-game homestand. Anaheim also lost for the first time in nine games this season when taking a lead into the third period.

John Gibson stopped 22 shots but couldn’t prevent the Ducks’ collapse under an unusual late outburst of offence from Minnesota, the NHL’s second lowest-scoring team entering the night.

John Gibson Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

After a scoreless first period, Rakell put the Ducks ahead by scoring on his own rebound after a sweet pass from Sam Steel. Rakell ended his nine-game goal drought with his fourth goal of the season.

Just 25 seconds later, Larsson’s shot from near the blue line went behind a screen and beat Stalock. The promising 22-year-old Swedish defenceman finally got his first goal in his 69th NHL game.

Fiala got the Wild on the scoreboard midway through the period after an excellent cross-ice pass from Ryan Suter. The Swiss forward hadn’t scored a goal this season before getting one in Minnesota’s past two games.

Zuccarello evened it when he stepped out of the penalty box at the exact moment Anaheim lost control of the puck in the Minnesota end. Joel Eriksson Ek hit Zuccarello with a pass at the far blue line, and he easily beat Gibson on the breakaway with 18:32 to play.

Minnesota took its first lead a few minutes later when Jason Zucker found Staal for his fifth goal of the season.

Jason Zucker
Jason Zucker (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

NOTES: The Ducks honoured captain Ryan Getzlaf before the game for playing in his 1,000th career game last Sunday. Anaheim owners Henry and Susan Samueli presented Getzlaf with a silver hockey stick, among other gifts. Getzlaf’s five-game scoring streak ended. … Wild coach Bruce Boudreau returned to the arena where he won four consecutive Pacific Division titles with Anaheim. The Ducks made it to Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in 2015, but he was fired in 2016 after a first-round playoff loss to Nashville. … Ducks F Ondrej Kase returned from a five-game absence with an upper-body injury. … F Max Jones returned to Anaheim’s lineup after a brief AHL stint. Devin Shore was scratched, as was D Josh Mahura. … Minnesota D Carson Soucy returned to the lineup, and Nick Seeler was scratched.


Wild: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Ducks: A four-day break before they host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.


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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press