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What we learned from the Ducks' 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild

What we learned from the Ducks' 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild
Wild forward Jarret Stoll and Ducks forward Rickard Rakell battle for control of the puck during a game on Jan. 20. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

One pretty play by the Ducks made up for a game full of disconnected passes and disjointed play.

Corey Perry to Patrick Maroon to Rickard Rakell was as clean a sequence as the Ducks have had this season, and Rakell's tie-breaking finish gave them a much-needed 3-1 win Wednesday as the season turns.

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Here's what we learned:

The re-shuffled lines worked … for now. Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau again broke up Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in a continuation of Sunday's game. Perry's line got the game-winning goal and Getzlaf's line another goal.

Boudreau said the ugly game -- the teams combined for 26 giveaways -- made it difficult to analyze but the result was clear.

"It was such a sloppy game, that it was hard to tell," Boudreau said. "[But] we got three goals from three different lines, which is good."

Getzlaf concurred, even though it means being away from longtime partner Perry.

"Obviously you're going to take some learning curves," Getzlaf said. "You've got to get to know different people and where they're going to be. We've got to find ways to work guys into the lineup and get their minutes. I thought tonight was a pretty good job of that."

Shea Theodore is making decisions harder for the Ducks. Theodore, 20, extended his scoring streak to four games with an assist and has hardly looked out of place in his first 11 NHL games.

The Ducks will eventually have Cam Fowler and Simon Despres available in an impending logjam on defense, but Theodore has certainly made a case for staying with the big club.

"I feel comfortable," Theodore said. "I feel like I'm making the right decisions, and I feel like I'm playing some of the best hockey that I've played, so I'm just going to try to keep it up."

It gets harder from here. The Ducks will play 22 of their final 37 games on the road, starting with a three-game trip to Washington, Detroit and Boston. That's an uphill path for a team still outside of the playoff picture.

"We're going to play some good hockey teams, teams that we don't see that much," Getzlaf said. "We've got to be prepared to do the things that we do well [and] that we've done well in the last little while."

Follow Curtis Zupke on Twitter @curtiszupke

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