Rakell's tiebreaking goal helps Ducks top Wild

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[January 21, 2016]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- What Rickard Rakell gave away, Rickard Rakell took back to give the Anaheim Ducks their fourth victory in six games.

The center scored his career-best 10th goal with 6:19 to play, giving Anaheim a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night in front of 15,962 at the Honda Center.

Last year, Rakell finished with nine goals in 71 games for the Ducks.

"When he's on top of his game, he really seems to handle the puck well," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He brings a lot of fans out of their seats with the way he can dipsy-doodle. I think that comes with confidence."

Rakell used his goal to atone for a turnover that enabled Minnesota to take an early lead.

"Right when it happens, you just want to get out there and get it back," Rakell said of the mistake. "Obviously, it's frustrating when it happens, but I just shook it off. You forget it and keep playing. You never play good if you're frustrated out there."

Right wingers Chris Stewart and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who finished their longest homestand of the season 5-3-0. Goalie John Gibson stopped 25 shots while ending a personal two-game losing streak.

Center Jarret Stoll scored for the Wild, who are one defeat from matching the longest losing streak in team history, six games.

"We've got to play tight and we've got to continue to defend as well as we have been doing," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "We can't lose any focus on that part of our game. But we've got to find a way to create some more chances."

Rakell, playing with new linemates, broke a 1-1 tie by scoring off a three-on-two rush.

Right winger Corey Perry passed from the edge of the right circle to left winger Patrick Maroon at the left circle. Maroon found Rakell at the right post, and Rakell redirected Maroon's pass behind goalie Devan Dubnyk.
 


"I don't know how many times we do that in practice every day," Rakell said. "It doesn't work 10 times out of 10, but it's really nice to see it go in for the winning goal."

Silfverberg converted into an empty net from the left boards along center ice with 49 seconds to play.

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Minnesota broke a scoreless streak of 127 minutes, 48 seconds by taking a 1-0 lead 6:48 into the game. Right winger Erik Haula secured a loose puck after Rakell slipped while pivoting at the right boards in his team's zone. Haula then sent a drop pass to Stoll, who converted a low wrist shot from the slot inside the left post.

Stoll, claimed off waivers Dec. 15 from the New York Rangers, scored his first goal with the Wild and his second overall.

"I feel like we had some good stuff around the net and some good possession in the zone," Minnesota left winger Zach Parise said. "But we need to shape up."

Nearly four minutes later, Anaheim (20-18-7) tied the score. Stewart recorded his seventh goal by deflecting defenseman Shea Theodore's wrist shot from the blue line into the upper right corner of the net at 10:46 of the first period.

Dubnyk finished with 24 saves.

NOTES: Minnesota scratched D Tyson Strachan and G Niklas Backstrom. Strachan was recalled from AHL Iowa on Tuesday to replace C Ryan Carter, who went on injured reserve with a hand injury. ... Wild C Mikael Granlund scored just one goal in 26 games since Nov. 21 and that was into an empty net. ... Minnesota's power play failed to score in 21 attempts during the previous 10 games. ... Anaheim scratched D Adam Clendening and C Mike Santorelli. ... Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said after Wednesday's morning skate that D Cam Fowler would rejoin the team on its upcoming road trip and might practice. Fowler has been out since Dec. 27, when he sprained his right knee against the Philadelphia Flyers. ... Ducks D Hampus Lindholm played his 200th NHL game on his 22nd birthday. ... Anaheim returned G Anton Khudobin to AHL San Diego. ... Ducks RW Andrew Cogliano played in his 667th consecutive game. He needs 13 to pass Vancouver C Henrik Sedin and move into sixth place. Doug Jarvis holds the record with 964 successive games from 1975 to 1987.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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