Beleskey gives Ducks 5-4 win over Wild
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Despite losing one of their best players and a big lead, the Anaheim Ducks still found a way to win Friday night.
Matt Beleskey scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period to give Anaheim a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Ryan Kesler had two goals, and Jakob Silfverberg and Tim Jackman also scored for the Ducks, who rallied after giving up a 3-0 lead and trailing 4-3 early in the third period.
“That’s not how you draw it up, but it’s two points at the end of the day,” Beleskey said.
Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jonas Brodin and Justin Fontaine scored for the Wild.
Wild coach Mike Yeo said the rally was nice to see, but not good enough.
“We rallied back, but there’s no reason any of us should have a good feeling about any of that,” Yeo said. “We lost the game. We found a way to grab the lead, but we didn’t win it.”
Fontaine gave Minnesota its first lead of the game at 2:07 of the third with his second goal of the season, but Jackman tied it 90 seconds later.
“It was good timing we were able to respond and get the game tied up,” Jackman said. “We were winning 3-0 then all of a sudden its 4-3, so to get that response and tie it up right away gave us the confidence again.”
Beleskey regained the lead for the Ducks at 8:28 with his 13th of the season.
Anaheim lost forward Corey Perry midway through the first on a hit from Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard. Perry had to be helped off the ice by a trainer and couldn’t put weight on his left leg.
Ballard dipped low to check Perry near the boards, flipping the Ducks’ leading goal scorer in the air before he landed hard on the ice. No penalty was called, but Ballard and Nate Thompson fought two minutes later.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Perry will travel to Winnipeg and they’ll know more about the injury on Saturday.
“Ballard’s done that a couple times now. He hits low, I don’t know if it was too low or what because I didn’t want to look at it yet,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I’ll look at it on the plane, but it is what it is and we’ll just readjust.”
Kesler and Silfverberg scored in the first period and then Kesler got his second of the game at 2:28 of the second to put the Ducks up 3-0.
Minnesota’s 29th-ranked power play then responded.
Koivu and Parise scored with the man advantage 11 seconds apart to make it 3-2 at 5:10 of the second. And with 2:11 left in the period, Brodin flicked the puck toward the net and in to tie the score.
Seconds earlier, Kesler’s shot from the point bounced over goalie Darcy Kuemper and was heading in before Nate Prosser covered it and knocked it out. The no-goal ruling stood after a replay review.
Like Perry’s injury and surrendering the big lead, the no-goal ruling was just another obstacle for Anaheim to overcome.
“It seems like we’re almost used to that kind of game,” defenseman Clayton Stoner said. “We like to do things the hard way and it’s one of those things where you can’t get up too high. We might have been up too high after we got up a few goals.”
Kuemper, who gave up five goals on 18 shots, was replaced by Niklas Backstrom after Beleskey’s score. Kuemper has allowed at least four goals in three of his last four starts.
“We’ll have to discuss that,” Yeo said when asked Kuemper’s status. “Obviously, we have to make sure that we’re strong there and we have to make sure that we’re playing the right game in front of him. We’ll evaluate that carefully.”
Ryan Suter, Minnesota’s top defensemen, skated in the morning but missed his second straight game with the mumps. Suter is the fifth Wild defender to miss time with the mumps this season.
Three Ducks’ players also have gotten the mumps this season.
NOTES: Jared Spurgeon and Prosser are the only two Wild defenders who haven’t gotten the mumps. ... Anaheim D Mark Fistric returned from back and facial injuries to play in his first game since Oct. 30. ... According to Elias, the goals by Koivu and Parise were the fastest two power-play goals since Ottawa scored 8 seconds apart in Toronto on Oct. 8, 2011.