Facing uncertainty on the backend due to injuries suffered by Clayton Stoner and Simon Despres, the Ducks close out their first home stand of the season still in search of a first win.
Ducks: Friday, 10/16 vs Colorado. "Offensive Woes Continue, Avs Blank Ducks 3-0"
Wild: Friday, 10/16 at Los Angeles. "Wild Steals A Point In La La Land, Lose 2-1 In OT To Kings"
This is officially the most anemic offensive start to a season in franchise history, and also the longest stretch with just one goal scored:
Times Ducks had scored twice over 4 games (former franchise low): 3/6 - 3/11/94 4/25 - 10/5/99 12/31 - 1/8/03 10/8 - 10/17/03 1/24 - 2/2/08— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) October 17, 2015
It harkens back to the 2003 Western Conference Final where the Mighty Ducks held tonight's opponent to just one goal in a four game sweep. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 122 saves on 123 shots as Anaheim outscored Minnesota by a 9-1 margin. On the current run of form, the Ducks have scored once on 128 shots and been outscored 9-1 (discounting the empty net goal by Colorado and shootout loss goal vs Vancouver).
While Stoner sits with a lower body injury and Despres an upper body injury, Anaheim recalled Korbinian Holzer and Shea Theodore from San Diego. Holzer appeared in 58 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs over the course of three different seasons from 2010-11 to 14-15, while Theodore looks to become the next defenseman to make his NHL debut in orange, gold and black since Josh Manson and Jesse Blacker last season.
Anaheim leads the all time series against the Wild with a 27-17-9 mark, going 16-8-2 at Honda Center. There have only been two seasons (07-08 and 11-12) that the Ducks haven't won at least one game in Anaheim against the Wild, while they've won every meeting at the Pond/Honda Center in five different seasons. The Ducks swept the season series last season, and also did so in 12-13; Minnesota has never swept the season series.
This is the first of two meetings between the two teams in less than a week. Anaheim will be in Minnesota on October 24, the second game of the upcoming five game Central Division road trip. Meanwhile, the Wild are playing their third game in four nights, having won 4-3 at Arizona before the Friday overtime loss to Los Angeles. All four of Minnesota's games have been decided by one goal.
Early projections of the Central Division being tough have been on point, as with seven points the Wild are currently fifth behind a four-way logjam of teams with eight points in Winnipeg, Dallas, St. Louis and Nashville. The division as a whole has mainly started the year on the road, accruing a cumulative 14-6-1 mark. Minnesota is the lowest scoring team in the division with 13 goals thus far, but the 11 goals they've allowed trail only Winnipeg and Nashville's nine.
Leading scorer Zach Parise's five goals are tied for the league high, while his seven points are third most behind six players with eight and two with nine. Four of those have come on the power play, second most power play points in the league, while his three power play goals are tied for the NHL lead. Ryan Suter also has four power play points, all assists. A possible weak spot? Devan Dubnyk has posted a sub .900 save percentage in his three starts, at .894.