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
"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
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
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
"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
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.
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