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Wild Use 3-Goal 1st Period To Beat Ducks 3-2

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(credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

(credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Matt Cullen and Jared Spurgeon scored 3:21 apart in the first period, Kyle Brodziak also found the net and Nicklas Backstrom made 32 saves in the Minnesota Wild’s 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

Defenseman Cam Fowler got his first two goals of the season for the Ducks, 1-5-2 since beating the Wild 3-2 in Minnesota on Oct. 27. The second one came with 48.5 seconds remaining on a screened wrist shot after Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle used his timeout.

Jonas Hiller was pulled by Carlyle at the end of the first period, after giving up three goals on 15 shots against an offense that managed only one shot on net in the first 17:15 of a 5-2 loss to Los Angeles on Saturday.

Minnesota took full advantage of the absence of Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks after breaking a finger on his right hand in the final minute of Friday’s 4-3 win over Vancouver. Brodziak opened the scoring at 6:09, converting a rebound of Darroll Powe’s shot after Nick Johnson carried the puck out from behind the net and tried to stuff it inside the right post.

Cal Clutterbuck set up Minnesota’s second goal with a perfect backhand pass to a wide-open Cullen from the right circle as he was being checked by defenseman Luca Sbisa. All Cullen had to do was flick it past Hiller’s glove from right in front of the net.

A delayed penalty was about to be called against the Ducks when Spurgeon made it 3-0 just 28 seconds before intermission. He beat Hiller to the stick side with a 40-foot slap shot that found room under the goalie’s armpit.

Backup goalie Dan Ellis started the second period for the Ducks, who got on the board at the 2:15 mark with the teams skating 4-on-4 after staggered penalties to Mikko Koivu and Anaheim’s Corey Perry. Francois Beauchemin got the puck at the right point from Bobby Ryan and faked a slap shot before setting up Fowler in the left circle for a pinpoint 25-foot wrist shot that best Backstrom high to the glove side.

Perry was jockeying for position at the left of the crease between Backstrom and defenseman Marek Zidlicky when he fell backward over the goalie as Ryan Getzlaf took a long shot on net. Perry was called for goalie interference at 18:15 of the second, eliciting a loud argument from Getzlaf with the referees.

Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an injured finger. He replaced rookie Marco Scandella, who left Saturday’s game with a concussion after he was checked by the Kings’ Ethan Moreau. The injury occurred one game after Guillaume Latendresse got a concussion in San Jose.

Notes: Ellis stopped all 11 shots he faced. … The crowd of 13,803 was 3,536 below the the standing-room-only turnout the Ducks got for their Veteran’s Day showdown with Vancouver. … This was the 14th straight meeting between the teams at Honda Center in which the team that scored first won. … It was the 11th time that Koivu has played against older brother Saku in the NHL, and Mikko has been on the winning side six times. The only time they scored in the same game was Oct. 6, 2009, when both connected on power plays in Minnesota’s 4-3 overtime win over the Ducks at St. Paul. Saku has a goal and four assists in those 11 games, and Mikko has four goals and four assists. … Getzlaf hasn’t scored a goal in eight games since his game-winner at Minnesota. … The Wild have has allowed just four third-period goals through their first 17 games, the lowest total in the league. … Ducks LW Jason Blake and F Matt Smaby, both of whom were born in Minnesota, are on the injured reserve list. Blake (Moorhead) is sidelined because of a lacerated left wrist, and Smaby (Minneapolis) is recovering from thumb surgery. … The Ducks are 0-8 when trailing after two periods. … C Colton Gillies was the only Minnesota skater that was not credited with a shot on net. … Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher worked for the Ducks from 2002 through 2006 in a variety of jobs, including assistant GM, director of hockey operations and V.P of amateur scouting and player development. … Up next for the Ducks is a home-and-home set with the Kings on Wednesday and Thursday. Last season, the Southern California rivals made the playoffs in the same year for the first time.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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