1. The Ducks’ defense, battered by injuries and illness and left with a largely young group, can have some moments that are, um, adventurous. The return on Friday of veteran Mark Fistric, who had been out since Oct. 30 because of a lower-back injury, should help. But the Ducks have given up four goals in two straight games—each a 5-4 victory—and have yielded 16 goals in their last four games.
“A lot of goals today. Little bit of a roller coaster,” goaltender Frederik Andersen said Friday. “I’ll take a win any way it comes.”
2. The Ducks’ depth has carried them through a tough stretch. They’ve been able to summon players like defenseman Josh Manson from Norfolk (Va.) of the American Hockey League and work them into the lineup effectively. And winger Tim Jackman, who had only one goal in his previous 23 games, came up with a huge goal Friday to bring the Ducks even just 90 seconds after Minnesota had taken a 4-3 lead.
“It was nice to get that response and tie it up right away. Gave us the confidence again,” he said. “We’ve done that a few times this year. The guys stick with it and believe we can come back.”
3. The Ducks don’t mind playing close games. They’re 13-0-5 in games decided by one goal. That might add unneeded tension to Coach Bruce Boudreau’s life, but good teams win the one-goal games.
4. What we don’t know: The severity of the left knee injury Corey Perry suffered in the first period on a hip check by Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard. He didn’t return. The hit appeared to be clean, though Boudreau said he wondered if it had been a low hit and said he planned to look at the video during the team’s flight to Winnipeg, Canada.
The Ducks are scheduled to practice Saturday afternoon at the MTS Centre and an update on Perry’s condition should be available after the session. It’s also likely the Ducks will make a personnel move and return defenseman Mat Clark to Norfolk now that Fistric is back in the lineup. Clark was seen packing his bags and saying goodbye to teammates after Friday’s game, but a team spokesman said no move had officially been made.